Jun 30, 2009

Ben Ward - Orange Goblin wagon keeps on rolling



Orange Goblin shouldn't need any introduction,for over 14 years they have upholding the great tradition of "British Heavy Metal" by delivering killer album after killer album.Not only that but their live shows have consistently been getting great live reviews since the beginning of the bands career.The band has naturally progressed from the Psychedelic Stoner Rock of "Frequencies From Planet Ten" to the Punk Metal crossover of "Coup De Grace" and beyond.I have been a huge fan of this band since 1998 so getting this interview with vocalist/madman "Ben Ward" was a buzz.Enjoy !!

1.The band started out as "Haunted Kingdom" so where did the name "Orange Goblin" come from ?

We had the name Our Haunted Kingdom as it seemed to fit what we played when we first started. It was more of a British doom band in the vein of Anathema, My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost and Cathedral. We were also into stuff like Obituary and Autopsy but as we evolved we got into bands like Trouble, The Obsessed and Saint Vitus etc and suddenly found ourselves a part of a small scene in the UK alongside bands like Electric Wizard, Mourn and Acrimony. As the band evolved we decided to change the name to something more suitable. It's really just an amalgamation of having a color (like a lot of our favorite 70's bands) and a creature inspired by Tolkien. Hence Orange Goblin!

2.The band released the first 5 albums on "Rise Above" but then moved to Sanctuary.What was the reason behind this decision ?

It was just a natural progression. After 10 years with Rise Above, our contract was up and we decided to try something new. Lee Dorrian gave us his blessing as he wanted to see the band progress and after a little bit of looking around we found Sanctuary (literally!) and they seemed to share exactly the same enthusiasm and outlook as the band. It was good while it lasted, it was very eye opening for the band and has held us in good stead ever since. As did our days with Rise Above and we continue to have a great relationship with everyone involved at both labels to this day!

3.Originally the band had a "Stoner Doom" sound but in recent years have moved to a more aggressive Metal/Punk Crossover sound.What forced this changed in your sound ?

I guess we just evolved. We wanted to try something different in a scene that we considered stale for a while. All of a sudden around the late 90’s and early 00’s there were a million and one bands playing what was termed ‘stoner rock’ and we tried to keep one step ahead. Whether this worked for us or not I don’t know but I’m glad we did it as it gave us a chance to incorporate more of our diverse influences into our music. It also helped set us apart from the majority of bands and kept things interesting. It may have split our fanbase for a while but I think that after a certain amount of time everyone can forgive us for trying something new.

4.What was the early days like for the band ? I remember the mid 90's as being a very exciting time for Stoner/Doom bands!

Yeah, as I said before, in the UK there was this very small scene involving ourselves, Electric Wizard, Acrimony, Mourn and a few others. Cathedral were the leaders and we all grew out of respect for what they were doing and kind of adopted our own signature sound out of that. It was cool as there was also an explosion of cool bands going on in the US and in Europe too, particularly in Germany, Holland and Sweden. It was great to be considered a part of that movement and we made some great friendships with people from those days. We all learned a great deal from this and I think it has helped us mature quite a bit as we used to be a little bit chaotic in those early days. There was a lot of the stereotypical booze and drugs and we probably got a bit carried away from tie to time. Let’s just leave it at that!

5.You are now signed with "Candlelight".How has that been for the band ?

So far, so good. I guess we’ll learn more as we get nearer to recording and releasing the next album but so far they have shown great patience as we continue writing. The album was supposed to be released this year but we are so slow at getting things done that we didn’t want to rush the album and they have been cool with that. It is definitely an honor for us to be on thee same label as so many bands we look up to such as Obituary, Crowbar, Emperor etc etc

6.You have played many many live shows.What has some of the highlights for the band ?

Over the course of our 14 year history there have been so many. Highlights for me include Wembley Arena, supporting Alice Cooper, performing at the Download festival at Castle Donnington, our first appearance at the Dynamo festival in Holland, 2 shows in Poland supporting Heaven & Hell. There are just so many. Recently we played at Hellfest in France alongside bands like Down, Saint Vitus, Manowar, Heaven & Hell and so many more and that was just a fantastic weekend. Everywhere we’ve been we have been lucky to have great tour mates and always seem to get along with whoever we tour with!

7.What is your live set like at the moment ? Do you play a real mixture of songs from all the albums ?

Definitely. We’ve really been trying to mix it up lately and having 6 albums of material to choose from makes the set very hard to decide on. The fans all seem to have so many favorite songs that it becomes hard to squeeze them all into the set. Personally I like to play a little bit of every album, that way you keep everybody happy!

8.What is some of your personal favorite tracks from the band ?

I’m very proud of everything we’ve ever done and wouldn’t want to associate myself with anything that I wasn’t 100% happy with. Obviously as we’ve got older we’ve learned many new things about songwriting and some of the older material doesn’t hold up as well as what we’re doing now but a few of my favourites would be Round Up The Horses, Blue Snow, Scorpionica, Black egg, Cozmo Bozo………………………………I could go on!!!

9.Have you got a favorite album that you have done ?

It would have to be the most recent one ‘Healing Through Fire’ as I think that it is the perfect mixture of everything that Orange Goblin is about. The songs are very well crafted and incorporate all of our influences to the point that it all just sounds like nothing but Orange Goblin! We put a lot of thought into that album with the lyrical content, the theme running through it, the riffs and the way songs were structured and I’m very pleased with the way it came out. Every album holds a special memory for me, ‘The Big Black’ particularly as that was when we realized that we didn’t have to stick to a formula and could do whatever we wanted. Also I like ‘Thieving From The House of God’ a lot too as it should the bands defiance. When Pete left the band, everybody thought it would be the end of us but I think we came back stronger than ever!

10.Who or what inspires the band's lyrics ?

I write all the lyrics (with the exception of the song ‘The Big Black’ which Chris wrote). The last album was hardest to write as everything had to be themed around the Plague and the Great Fire of London so I had to stay loosely within those parameters, but it was fun and a challenge at the same time and the research helped me discover the works of Samuel Pepys and Daniel Defoe. I’m a huge fan of horror movies and literature so they give me a lot of inspiration. Film directors I like include Argento, Fulci, Romero, Carpenter, Grau, Franco, De Ossario, Jodorowsky, Hitchcock and many more. Literary wise I like Bukowski, Hunter S Thompson, Dickens, Huxley, Orwell, Jack London, Brian Keene…………………………………………………we could go on and on all day!!

11.What about other singers/frontmen ? Is there anyone that has been a real influence to you ?

There’s a few that I look up to and admire. I don’t know about inspirational as I try to be myself on stage and in everything I do but I have a lot of respect for people like, Ozzy, Lemmy, Lee Dorrian, Phil Anselmo, LG Petrov and others that have always walked their own path and not been swayed by anything going on around them. As for actual singers, the I would say that Ronnie James Dio is the absolute master. I also really like the voice of people like Rod Stewart, Paul Rodgers, Aretha Franklin and more recently JB from Grand Magus!

12.I read a new album may be out in September.Can you give us any updates on that ?

As mentioned before, it is still a work in progress. We have a few songs written but they’ll still get tweaked a bit. We plan to record sometime in 2010 but we aren’t going to rush anything. A couple of working titles for songs we have so far are ‘The Bishops Wolf’ and ‘Red Tide Rising’ and the material is definitely very exciting. There are things that we’ve never done before with hints of Rush and King Crimson as well as all the usual Sabbath and Motorhead headbangers!

13.What has the album sales been like for "Orange Goblin" and in this era of the stealing of music from the Internet has it been a struggle to get actual paying customers ?

It’s always a struggle but in this digital age it is always going to be harder for bands like us. We’ve consistently done Ok as I think we have a very loyal fan base that are willing to support the bands in our scene. I mean, it’s OK for bands like radiohead and Coldplay to give albums away as digital downloads cos’ they’ve already made fucking millions but to us, every tenner counts! The main thing that pisses me off are the people in countries that don’t buy our albums, get them off the internet and then moan that we don’t tour there when we have no money!!!

14.What is the next year or so looking like for live appearances ? Any plans on touring the US ?

We’ll try and do as much as we possibly can. It’s hard to tour extensively like we used to as we all have families, children, good jobs to look after all that sort of thing. It’s a shame but I guess its all part of getting old. For the last 14 years we have all given everything to this band. This year will be the first time any of us have had a summer holiday with our families as normally all our holiday time is taken up by touring commitments. That said, there are some plans being made for the US at some point in 2010 so hopefully we’ll be back!

15.What is your lifestyle like when you are on the road ? Is it hard to stay focused and healthy with all the temptations of drugs and alcohol ?

It used to be carnage, drunk and high all day everyday completely terrorizing anyone we met and generally making a nuisance of ourselves but I think we’re far more sensible and reserved these days! When we are on tour we make more of an effort to look after ourselves and we also realize that when you’re the headline act you have more of a responsibility to the fans to give the best performance possible. Of course there are still occasions when we all get a little bit out of control and we leave a trail of vomit, blood, destruction and black eyes!

16.Ok Ben,thanks for doing the interview.Any final words for the fans out there ?

Thanks to the Doom Metal Alliance for years of continued support and thanks to all the fans that make it possible to keep the Orange Goblin wagon rolling! We hope to see you all sometime soon, if we do, buy us a beer!

http://www.myspace.com/theorangegoblin

Jun 26, 2009

Dawn Of Winter - The Peaceful Dead

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Earlier this week i was able to pick up a copy of the new 'Dawn Of Winter' album 'The Peaceful Dead".All i can say its about time they released a full length,the band has been together for 20 some odd years and have released only one album which was about 10 years ago i think, couple of EP's and demos.Was the wait worth it,for the most part the answer is yes indeed ! The CD kicks off with 'The Music Of Despair' which is almost like a tribute to 'Doom Metal' itself,it obvious this band loves the genre and this song is almost like a dedication to it.One thing that surprised me is the amount of mid-tempo tracks on here,not as slow as i expected but still with a very 80's 'Doom Metal" feel to the tracks.The album has a whole is one of the more melodic Doom Metal release's of the last year, listen to "Throne of Isolation", which is one of the highlights of the album to hear what could be described as a 'Doom Ballad'.The playing is very sophisticated and thoughtful and a lot of work has gone into producing what is a very distinctive sound.Singer Gerrit P. Mutz lends a lot of sorrow and melody to the songs,this dude's voice has improved so much these days.At times Jorg M. Knittel’s soloing sounds like he is channeling "Saint Vitus' which is not a bad thing but at times its a little too close for my liking."Mourner" and "Anthem of Doom" are two standout moments on the album where they unleashed some of their best 'Traditional Doom Metal Riffs' and this is where the band excels.'Throne of Isolation' is another highlight where the band really get the feeling of loneliness and despair in the grooves.Production on this is almost flawless and the artwork is great,maybe now they will get the reconingtion they deserve.8.5/10

Jun 24, 2009

Cortez - Going beyond the desert

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1.Hello,thanks for allowing this interview to happen.First of all for the people that might not know the band already,can you give us a rundown of where you are from,band members and a brief history of the band ?

We are Cortez from Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The band consists of: Scott - Guitar, Jay - Bass, Jeremy - Drums, Matt - Vocals. The band formed in early 2006. We have released one EP on Buzzville Records titled "Thunder In a Forgotten Town".


2.The EP released last year "Thunder In A Forgotten Town" got some great reviews.Was that something you expected ? After all it is a real high quality slab of Stoner Rock !

Thanks for the kind words, we tried to make a record that we were satisfied with above all. I think we succeeded in so far as we made the best EP that we could at that point in time. We always like to think that the next thing we do will be better than the last. The positive reviews are just icing on the cake, although it does feel good to know that other people are also on the same wavelength.


3.Speaking of " Stoner Rock " which is a musical tag that is becoming very tired and overused these days,is this a tag you are happy with and is it even a musical genre anymore ?

We aren't too concerned with labels...if we are tagged as Stoner Rock that's fine. It helps people get an idea what we sound like before they listen. Ultimately we just want to make heavy music that we enjoy playing. As for whether Stoner Rock is even a genre anymore, I think it is although like anything it has changed and mutated. Any genre will have it's "traditionalists" who only want to sound like Kyuss or whoever they deem to be true Stoner Rock and there will also be the bands who have those bands as influences but forge their own path and identity. There's room for both sides so I think Stoner Rock will be around for a long time.


4.You recently had some time off and are back doing shows again.What was the reason behind the break ?

The reason behind the break was that we split with our original singer. Unfortunately it didn't work out so we had a couple of friends fill in on vocals for us at some shows (Craig Riggs from Roadsaw and Gaff from Gozu). It took us a while to find the right replacement. After a year we finally found the right singer, Matt. He has been amazing and really brought us up a notch in the vocal department.


5.So whats happening with the new album ? Can you give us a update with songs and a album title ?

We have been writing songs for the new album and have seven written and a few more in the works. We would like to get into the studio this summer and start recording. We are really pleased with the new songs and can't wait to record them.

As for an album title, it's a little early for that right now but some of the new song titles are "All Hail", "Monolith", "Wormwood", "Beyond the Mountain" and "Ride On".


6.Earlier this year you played the Stoner Hands Of Doom X show.Are the big festival type shows something you enjoy ? Also do you think its a bit much for the average fan to sit through all those bands all at once ?

Actually the SHOD X show is in September so it is a few months away still. As far as festival shows go, we like playing them. They are always fun and a great opportunity to play for people that may not have seen you before. A good set can go a long way to making new fans. It's always good hanging with the other bands as well.

If a person is a fan of at least a few of the bands it makes for a real party, drink, smoke, watch the bands you like, buy merch, check out distros and hang with other people that dig the same kind of music. Nothing wrong with that if you ask me.


7.The band has some big chunky riffs but also with a sense of melody similar to that of some classic bands from the 70's. Do you spend a lot of time working on melody and the feel for a song ?

We are very particular about making sure we feel that a song really works before we record it. Some songs go through numerous chorus or bridge sections before we settle on the right parts. Arrangements also tend to change from the beginning until the song is finished. We are our own biggest critics. As for melody and feel we try and take all of the elements into account in order to write quality songs.


8.With the new album coming out,how does it compared with last years EP ?

It is the same members who wrote all of the music on the EP so obviously it will continue in the same vein but the new songs are frankly, better. Most of the EP songs were written within six months of becoming a band while we were getting used to playing together and while we are happy with them we are extremely excited about the new material. Matt's vocals really take the songs to a new level without losing the feel of the older songs.


9.Its perhaps a little too easy to listen to bands like "Cortez" and compared it to " Kyuss " and are they a influence to you ( really ).I mean i don't think you really sound like " Kyuss " at all but that comparison must come up pretty regularly !

Kyuss is most definitely an influence and if people think we sound like them great. We love that band so it is an honor to be mentioned in the same breath. That being said we don't actively try to sound like Kyuss but their influence is in the mix along with Sabbath, Deep Purple, Cactus, Soundgarden, Dozer, Melvins, Black Flag and a million others.


10.The band's material is available all over the place including CD Baby and I Tunes.How important is that sort of distribution ? I know a lot of bands that refuse to have anything to do with I Tunes etc !

For us it's about making it readily available. If we make a great record and nobody gets to hear it, what's the point? In this day and age Itunes is responsible for quite a bit of our sales. It's just another way for people to get their hands on our songs. I tend to prefer the old fashioned way of going to a record store and scouring the racks looking for a hidden treasure and looking at the artwork but many people just want to download songs. Which is fine with us, the bottom line is getting the music out there.


11.Future shows - what is planned for the band ?

We are booking shows for the summer and fall right now. As I mentioned earlier we are playing the Stoner Hands Of Doom festival on Sept 4th. We are also doing a short run of shows with Ichabod, Maegashira and When the Deadbolt Breaks which are in the works as I type. We would also like to go back to Europe after the new album is finished.


12.Also on the same subject,have you got any preferences over what bands you like to play with or are you pretty open-minded about it ?

We're pretty open minded. As long as the bands are good it usually works out. A little variety sometimes makes for the most interesting shows. Playing with bands that we are friends with is always a good time.


13.I read in your blog about the reaction coming out of Russia,that must have satisfying to know the tunes have made a impact so worldwide ?

It feels good to know that people are digging songs that we wrote in our small, sweaty rehearsal space. It's kind of surreal, actually, but very cool.


14.What is your thoughts of the current music for the so called " Desert Stoner Riff Rock " scene ?

I think there are lots of good bands out there in all of the heavy genres these days. In Boston alone there are tons of great bands like We're All Gonna Die, Gozu, Hackman, Ichabod, Riff Cannon, The Proselyte, Born Of Thunder. Not to mention bands from everywhere else Solenoid, Deville, Dozer, Solace, Orange Goblin to name a few.


15.Ok time for some shameless promotion,give all the readers a rundown of websites where they can find you and also the easiest way of picking up some merchandise .

The best way to reach us or to buy merch is at our myspace page:

http://www.myspace.com/cortezboston

You can also check us out at the following sites:
http://cdbaby.com/cd/cortezboston
http://www.last.fm/music/Cortez (US)
http://www.reverbnation.com/cortezboston

Thanks to Ed & Earthdog for spreading the word!


Jun 22, 2009

A Death Cinematic 'A Parable on the Aporia of Vengeance and the Beauty of Unpenetrable Sadness'

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This one monster 2 CD set from one man,a guitar and a incredible amount of musical vision."A Death Cinematic " is presented here with some beautiful packaging and artwork,the 2 CD's come in a double-sided plywood housing and the whole package is printed with a stark sepia photography.A lot of time and effort has gone into making this one of the most unique looking CD releases this year.The compositions here are of the experimental and ambient style while still retaining a slight Black Metal edge.This however is not what i consider Black Metal as this some heavily layered guitar drones with the odd Metal riff thrown in.Trying to compared this with anybody else is almost impossible but imagine between"Caïna" and "Earth" and i guess you be pretty close.Over the 2 CD's and 11 tracks which has a total running time of about 90 minutes you get a atmospheric,voyage in some real Darkness that can take your mind into places that maybe you don't want to be.The guitar work contains a substantial amount of reverb that creates a mournful tone to the tracks.Not much in the way of vocals and its hard to understand the meaning of the song titles at first but with repeated listening it becomes more clear.Kind of like looking at one of those 3D paintings,at first nothing comes to mind and then the vision comes through.One element to the music that stands out is the use of gorgeous melodies and chord progressions but also killing that vibe off completely by the use of feedback and distortion.This may irritate some people but this isn't a album for the closed minded listener,this demands a open mind and patience.This is a very improvised album and when you consider a lot of this was made just off the top of this head,it makes the album just that bit more remarkable.Don't quote me on that but i believe a lot of these songs were made off the cuff.The only criticism i will make is the 2 CD's are a bit much to digest and some of it is a little too raw(production wise).I feel if the best elements were combined into making just one CD's worth of music it would have been more effective.Highlights for is the brilliant closer of CD 2 ‘Brilliance of the First Morning Snow’ with its low-end turbulence and 'The Sun Glints Through The Dust With Risen From Their Hooves' that features some awesome psychedelic metallic doom riffage.This album will properly appeal to fans of fans of; Godspeed, Skullflower, Vibracathedral Orchestra,Earth and maybe Boris.A demanding listen but can be a rewarding one at times.8/10

Jun 21, 2009

Echo - Omnivoid

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This is a interesting demo from Italian band "Echo" which is one of the more harder bands i had to review lately.Harder because the band has no clearly defined sound,rather a mixture of genres that combined to create a sound somewhere half way between Funeral Doom and Gothic rock.All the tracks on here have atmospheric keyboards, various mid-tempo arrangements, arpeggios and a ethereal atmosphere.The musicians themselves are obviously very good and the production on this which is basically a demo is excellent.Opening track "disclaiming my Faults" has some winding moving instrumental passages which are quite striking to the ear and the vocals are very different from what you would hear from the average Doom band.The vocals range from the quietly sung to the total death growls while the music ranges from experimental like sounds of Pink Floyd to the more Gothic Doom sounds of Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride and Anathema.There is no weak tracks here but the tracks themselves took me several listens to really grab me.There is nothing wrong with their instrumental ability,its just the combination of styles take a while to get use to.Songs are well arranged and would appeal to a wide variety of Doom Metal fans and general Rock fans alike.It is always good to hear a band that is not so easy to put a tag on,they have their own sound and while you can hear some influences what they do with them is something else completely.Interesting band and definitely a band to watch out for.8/10

Space Bong - Death Of Utopia

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Wow this is brutal with a capital B,Space Bong have released a 4 track 70 minute Doom Laden,Sludge Fest that really defines what the genre is all about.From the opening couple of minutes you are bombarded with some of heaviest riffage you will likely ever hear.Certainly some of the heaviest music ever to come out of Australia,this is terrifying sick Doom in the vein of "Khanate" and "Burning Witch".Filled with Droning passages and tormented vocals this is music for the Hardcore Doom Freak.This was made in collaboration with "Die Like A God" and that might have something to do with the brutal low-end vibes of the tracks.With the shortest track being 12 minutes this a punishing affair not made the traditional listener however they do have some surprises in store.The second track "Death Kneel" starts off with a Mid - Tempo stomping Riff that had me bouncing off the walls,i mean this kicks some serious ass.Soon though it settles back in typical "Space Bong" noise laden fashion with some monolithic Doom passages of the "Iron Monkey" variety.The section they launch into just before the 7 minute mark is just a monumental piece of Droning Doom,the guitar whines and moans just as much as the vocals.Their is a lot of anger in the vocals and combined with the guitar work seriously beating you around the head it makes for a torturous epic experience.Each track on here is a album in itself,long drawn out excursions in some disturbed,obviously highly stoned mind.My favorite track is the 21 minute third track that has one of those riffs you feel like you have heard before but its so damn good it doesn't matter.The band is a little repetitive at times which is not everyone's cup of Doom but i found the riffs so hypnotic it didn't bother me at all.The final track which i think is called "Black Wall" finishes off the album in some way the album started "bruising and punishing".The have a different approach to the vocals on this one,ranging from moans,growls to high pitched singing of the more Traditional Doom Metal style.This track also has a melodic solo ( shock horror ) and maybe for this reason the track tends to stand out a bit more than the rest.Conclusion is if you like your Doom,long and epic with a great deal of tortured vocals and music to match then you will love this.9/10

www.myspace.com/spacebong

Jun 20, 2009

WO FAT - Psychedelonaut

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With the stacks cranked up to 11,Wo - Fat dishes up a smorgasbord of fuzzed out Stoner delights of the finest order.This is a electrified,riff-filled journey of Psychedelic 70's Metal infused with Bluesy Acid Filled "Hendrix" inspired jams.They take the feel of 70's giants like Sabbath, ZZ Top, Humble Pie, Deep Purple, Mahogany Rush, Night Sun, Mountain and mixed up with the Stoner Doom Monolithic sounds of Sleep, Church of Misery and Fu Manchu.Some of the songs have a trance like vibe sucking the listener in to a never ending groove while others have some sort of Country Stoner Doom Blues recipe that strangly works in delivering the Riff Rock in a unique fashion.Wo Fat certainly have thier own way of doing things,even though this fits in well within the whole Stoner/Doom genre there is something different about this band.They have a huge sound that sounds like a five piece band most of the time even though this is only a 3 piece band.Psychedelonaut,Enter the Riffian and Analog Man are the first three assaults on the eardrums on the album with some mind bending guitar tones and some colossal drum sounds.The middle of the album is the weaker section for me anyway as the tracks seem to lack the constant drive that the previous songs have but yet are still bombastic enough to keep you engaged in the running order of the album.Shake Em On Down,Not of This Earth and The Spheres Beyond bring the album to a close in similar gigantic fashion.These songs are pretty intense Stoner Workouts with the average length of the songs being around the 7 minute mark.They have a knack for working a groove to death which after all was the gift of so many 70's Hard Rock groups.This is 70 + minutes of Heavy Stoner Doom but with another dimension that sets them apart from the pack.Out on Brainticket Records.8.5/10

www.myspace.com/wofat

Doomraiser - Erasing The Remembrance

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Italy's "Doomraiser" first came on the scene back in 2004 with the demo "Heavy Drunken Doom". At the time it was a little hard to see them as serious contenders for any sort of Doom Throne because their image as a bunch of drunken Metal Heads.Man,have times changed because this album delivers the goods in every department.This is my kind of Doom Metal rock,they take all the best elements from the Maryland Doom Scene and mix it up with sounds ranging from Sabbath,Captain Beyond and other underground 70's proto Metal to guitar riffs and musical passages that remind me of early "Celtic Frost".

Although there is nothing original about what they do,what they do is some infectious and full of so much groove.Its a real talent and strength to put together 7,9,10 and even 15 minute tracks and not once does it seem the tunes are long.They are structured with just the right amount of tempo and mood changes that nothing outstays its welcome.There is no low points to this release and highlights are plenty including "Another Black Day" that has one of the coolest mid-tempo headbanging sections heard in a long time.






"The Raven" and album closer "Rotten River" just reek of pure classic Doom with some unforgettable passages that are instantly accessible to mind of a Doom Metal fan like myself.Even the 15 minute "Vanitas" has so many twists and turns it never seems like 15 minutes has even passed by the end of this masterpiece.They released their first album "Lords Of Mercy" a couple of years back and while that was a good release,this really blows it out of the water.There is so many moods on here,reflective,aggression and even sometimes somber the arrangements are beautifully put together. This is engaging and convincing, thanks mostly to a mature songwriting and excellent production.Like i mentioned before most of this sounds like a Maryland Doom Act and bands like "Orodruin" and "Blood Farmers" spring to mind while listening to this but "Doomraiser" have got their place in the top of the Doom Metal pile and with an album as good as this it seems they will be there for a long time.This is a essential purchase.....10/10

Leif Edling - Songs of Torment, Songs of Joy (Candlelight Records)

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For over 25 years now no band has more of a impact on the Doom Metal scene than Candlemass and one of the main reasons they achieved this is the brilliant Doom vision of Leif Edling.He now proves how much talent he has on this his solo album " Songs of Torment, Songs of Joy".Sometimes when these solo projects are released they can be a disappointment because they might not be what you expect.This album however is not only classic Doom Metal but it exceeds all expectations. Edling joins his bass with the brilliant work of Björn Eriksson and
Chris Laney to provide some of the most earth shattering Doom Metal recorded in the last year.One of the main differences between this album and a Candlemass record
is the use of keyboards. Although Candlemass have used keys before,on this album they main a integral part of the overall sound.The keyboard sound has a almost Rick Wakeman quality about it and when its mixed with Edling's other worldly vocal sound it makes for quite a trippy listening experience.His vocals have a semi-narrative vocal approach almost like a commentary to the songs rather than actual singing.This somehow works incredibly well and is such a different sound compared to other traditional Doom Metal vocals.
The opening track, “The Scar” attacks with some vicious guitar tones and sets the mood for the rest of the album.Its clear from the outset that this is pure class.On “Angelic ‘Til I Die,” the lyrics are warped but i will let you be the judge on what they are about.I get something different out of it everytime i hear it.Westholm’s keyboards and Edling’s echoing vocals send you into outer space with a some kind of Psychedelic vibe that has that cerebral touch.“On the Edge of Time ” and “Nautilus” are both stand out tunes with the later pushing the 10 minute mark.On here it takes you under water with Westholm’s keys create and mimic submarine noises.There is many standout points about this album,musically it is as close to perfect as a album can be but there is none of the sinister or macabe vocals/lyrics you may have been used to from old Candlemass records.If you are expecting a total Candlemass like Doom Metal CD with this then this may disappoint but if you listen to this with a open mind this album can take you on a little progressive Doom Metal Rock journey and you will enjoy the trip.I found this album to a little on the short side and the one minute instrumental "Butterfly" doesnt help matters.It seems a little incomplete in some ways but that is a minor bug,overall this is one of the albums of the year.9/10

Jun 19, 2009

Epistle - Monoliths of Ancient Times - Demo

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Epistle sent me this crushing slab of Funeral Doom and this is only a demo but this band has some potential to become one of the best exponents of Funeral Epic Doom in the world.There is 4 tracks,all of which are not real long but have a real huge epic feel to them." Monoliths Of Ancient Times" starts off the Demo in a lumbering style with some crushing riffage and a vocalist reminiscent of classic Doom from the past.Part Saint Vitus,Count Raven with some Reverend Bizarre thrown in for good measure.This is Funeral Doom with a classic Doom Metal twist.The next 2 tracks continue the darkness in similar somber fashion,both tracks are part of a 2 part suite and are the picks of the demo for me.Lumbering,Menacing and Crushing with a Epic story to be told.They have a soundtrack/ theatrical sound to them,if they ever were going to make a Doom Metal opera then this is the style you would most likely hear ! Final track "Streams Of Eternal Blood" while in the same vein as the others takes the Doom level up a notch mainly due to the more dramatic vocal approach.They have a Session Vocalist, Tom Davy who does some vocals on here and it really adds to the track.This tune is a classic already in demo form and i would love to hear it with better production,not that the production is bad.Its actually pretty good for a demo but when these dudes get a full length out hopefully with big production,its going to be a monster release.Keep a eye out for these guys.8/10

www.myspace.com/epistleusa

Jun 17, 2009

Forests Of Old - None more black

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"Forests Of Old" have a new album out called "Voices From Oblivion" and while the band has its roots and sound in Black Metal,they also have a flair for creating some Doom ridden Ambient Sounds which is what caught my ear.Here is a interview with its creators.

1.The band from what i have read started out as "DESTRUCTION RITUAL".Was the name change a way of giving the band a whole new identity and how is the band different from a music standpoint ?



BSOG:Forests of old wasn't Destruction Ritual.It was more of Myself and Christ Insultor joining up with Wulv and forming a whole new band.Two very different bands with to different aesthetics.Christ Insultor isn't involved with the band at all any more or with black metal either.Forests Of Old is it's own entity and neither of our past or current other bands seeps into this.


2.The songs have a more old school approach or at least that what i think.Are you more influenced by older Black Metal or is it a combination of the old and the new bands ?


Wulv:I am not really influenced by new bands,Im not really influenced by much anymore at all..If anything i would say the older bands with older being a relative term.Influence often goes hand in hand with plagiarism.

BSOG:I really hate the word influence because influence often leads to stupidity.I am more inspired by the older bands,but i do however partake in checking out newer bands,most of who fail miserably.

3.You went through a lot of crap with labels and line up changes to get to this point.Can you tell the readers about some of those battles ?


Wulv:Without being to insulting? We made mistakes and this band will always only be the 2 of us,not that we wouldn't collaborate with others,but most people lack the time or dedication to do this the right way.We wasted a lot of time and effort trying to make this a full functioning band,when we should have concentrated our efforts on making our music which above all is most important.

4.The sound on the EP is one of pure raw Black Metal.Was that the plan all along ?

Wulv:My plan was to make music that was unrestrained compared to my previous writing style.The final product was not even in my mind as i was writing,compared to funeral dust how the songs were going to end up.I made the music sound the way it wanted to sound like,i didn't hold anything back in the creative process.
BSOG:This whole ep was very spontaneous,everything just kind of fell into place.It is very chaotic.It was more about finding out what we wanted this band to sound like.The raw element was not intentional at all,it kinda just happened.

5.What is your opinion on the Black Metal scene ? Has it gone forward over the years or is it like some people say gone stagnant ?

Wulv:The black metal scene ended when euronomous died and varg was incarcerated.Today's use of the word scene is a common group of people who can't think for themselves and are completely unimaginative.When speaking of the US scene,your talking about 2-3 bands and then everyone else who sounds like them.I refuse to let my work get lumped in with that,i refuse to let anyone else's ignorance influence how i write music.We are playing the style of music that forests of old needs to be,we're not reinventing the wheel.


BSOG:I think like any genre of music,it must evolve in some ways.I do not however enjoy all of these scene faggots who pollute the music that i love.I guess i am stuck in the late '80's early '90's,but there are a few bands who have come along lately that "get it".


6.Can you see the band experimenting with different genre's in the future ?



BSOG:Black metal will always be the core of what we do.That will never change whatsoever,we do however flirt heavily with doom.But there is never any idea that we don't consider when we are writing music,as long as the foundation which is black metal is still strongly present.



7.What is your take on Satanism,Christianity and Religion ?

Wulv:If you believe in the devil,then you believe in god,which makes you a christian.Forests of old IS satanism refusing to follow others,free thinking,using your own mind to create your own views,while not being ignorant to ignore the finer aspects of other peoples viewpoints.We are above religion.Very simple.


BSOG:I am what i am and that is all i will say about this subject.


8.Some of the songs on the EP have a bit of a Ambient feel to them.Is the Drone/Ambient scene play much of a influence ?



Wulv:Personally there will always be some kind of keyboard ambiance.It is like setting a scene like how you would hear in a film.The keyboards are allowed to breathe in certain sections,where it will set the mood and create a feeling within the listener.


BSOG: I like bands like Nortt and Sunn o))),but that has no place in forests of old.You will not hear any classical music with us,if it takes away from the harshness,then it doesn't work.



9.I also read you are working on a split with CRYPTIC THRONE.How is that coming along ?



BSOG:The split is dead in the water.A 3 track vinyl only ep will be out later this summer thru Runic records.

10.Would you like to take the band on the road sometime soon ?



Wulv:If we could then maybe.It has to make sense.We both have family obligations which make it very difficult to do this.But never say never.

11.FUNERAL DUST is something else you are involved with.Can you tell us the latest news from that project ?



Wulv:Covered by snowdrift was reissued and is sold out thru me,but there are a few other distros with copies available.I am working on a 12" split with moloch from the Ukraine which will be released later this year thru Runic records.



12.How do you see the future of Black Metal when you consider the record industry is now officially dead ?


BSOG:There was a record industry in black metal?Black metal will always survive because of the die hard fanatics who keep the music alive.


Wulv:Since the beginning,the best black metal is created by 4 assholes in a garage and they are always building new garages.If black metal bands waited for labels to release their music,then half the albums out there would have never seen the light of day.

13.What has been the reaction to the CD been so far.Have you had many reviews?

Wulv:Surprisingly to us,the response has been very positive.

BSOG:Nothing to rough yet,everything has been very positive,which is very encouraging,but we don't make this music with critics in mind.



14.Any plans for a full length album from FORESTS OF OLD ?


Wulv:Yeah sure

BSOG:We're doing a full length?


15.To finish up,how would you like people to feel after hearing the band for the first time ?

Wulv:What i just listen to?Where did this come from,it wasn't made from a single mindset.I want them to go listen to it again.

BSOG:I really don't give a shit if people get anything out of it,all i know is what it did for me and how it makes feel.

16.Thanks for the interview,any final thoughts ?



WULV:I am not an artist,artists don't belong in metal,i play music,it purveys its own message and feelings.I do not spend my days and nights brooding over a candle having deep thoughts to life's questions.I play metal!!!!!!!!


BSOG:HAIL FUCKING DARKNESS!!!!!!!!!!!

Northless - No Quarter For The Damaged

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The band "Northless" have this new CD out on "Halo Of Flies Records" and it is basically 2 guys and 4 tracks of some angry but dense Doom.Interesting point about the packaging which i think is real cool is that this comes in a LP sleeve with the CD mounted on a n an 11x17 poster insert.More bands need to do this,like getting the best of both worlds in one nifty package.The music here is for the most part angry,dense psychotic tunes with a lot of dynamics interspersed with quieter more somber moments that remind me of "Pelican".The rest of the tunes enter in a more "Sleep" mode while driving the songs home with a powerful brand of groove rock.All of the 4 tracks here are good but with the style being a mixture of Doom and Post Metal they may not be instantly accessible like some other bands in the Doom Metal genre.There is a bit of a "Swans" meet "Isis" feel to some of the musical passages here so if you looking for something more traditional this wont be for you.It is however 30 minutes of powerful dark and dense tunes that is worth checking out.Musically the band have enough tricks up their sleeves to please the average Doom fan and also people with a more experimental edge to their taste in music will appreciate this release.8/10

Jun 16, 2009

Shepherd - Laments

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I was recommended this CD from a friend of mine and after hearing it a few times it had me hooked.Hard to find much information about them and the CD doesn't tell me much either but this is a fine Doom Laden album closer to 70's Rock than most but Doom just the same.Musically the band is closest to bands like "Count Raven" and "Saint Vitus" but with a bit extra in the 70's groove rock department.One of the standout points of this band is the unique vocals of Andreas Kohl who really sounds like no one else in the world of Doom.Riffs are the good but heard it all before variety but enjoyable all the same.Tracks like "Suburban Boogie" or the weird "Sleepless" are highlights and the guitar work ranges from heavily down-tuned Doom Rock to the slightly more 70's Progressive Rock workouts.There is some great tempo changes and mood swings from mid - tempo grooves to even some acoustic breaks especially in the eleven minutes long "The Coldest Day/The Story of the Drinker".The production on this album is average at best which kind of spoils things but this is still a worthwhile purchase for fans of Classic Doom.Released on exile On Mainstream Records.8/10

Jun 15, 2009

Altar Of Oblivion - Sinews of Anguish

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Anybody here old enough to remember the early 80's if you wanted to play real Epic Doom Metal it meant you really had some real class in your playing.Some of that finesse has gone out of the Metal scene in the last last decade but bands like "Altar Of Oblivion" are one band that all the qualities of a classy Doom Metal act of the 80's.Think part "Trouble","Candlemass",Solitude Aeturnus" and throw in some "Revelation" and you get somewhere close to where this great Danish band are coming from.Mind-blowing guitar work features throughout the entire album all mixed some of the most emotional vocal work done by singer "Mik",who has so much talent it is a pure inspiration to hear this dude's vocals soar.

"Martin's guitar work has a unique edge to it and the riffs are so catchy and filled with passion.Simply put this a very 80's sounding album but it is not of the dated variety.This sounds real fresh and add the majestic songwriting skills of this band and you have one incredible piece of classic Epic Doom Metal.Anybody who heard their demo would know the potential of the band but not many people would have expected such a emotional Metal Rollercoaster ride that "Altar Of Oblivion" have delivered here.8 tracks and 8 total winners,this is one complete piece of conceptual Heavy Doom Metal.One of the early picks for best album of 2009.9.5/10




Check them out here - http://www.myspace.com/altarofoblivion

Jun 14, 2009

Sleep - Holy Mountain Reissued But Why ?

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This is not really a review because after all any Doom/Stoner fan would know this album back to front anyway.The album is a pure classic,a timeless piece of Stoner Doom history that is hard to beat.Released in 1993 it is still a major influence on all things Stoner Rock and Doom Metal.So this is why i was real excited to hear this was being re-released by Earache Records,i mean my copy has been played so many times it is a miracle it works at all.Once i got hold of the new digipack my excitement turned to disappointment.I was expected a whole bunch of extras but all you get is a bonus track(a cover of Sabbath's Snowblind) and a quicktime version of the Dragonaut video,both of which i have heard/seen a million times.

I have had Dragonaut on DVD for years anyway and you can watch that video anytime you want on Youtube.Maybe they are trying to bring Sleep a new generation of fans 16 years later which is cool by me but this reissue could have been so much more.A second disc with Demo's or even the Volume 2 record could have been a killer bonus but no such luck.A golden opportunity to do something really special for Sleep fans has been lost.Still it goes without saying this is pure gold,i doubt if there is anyone reading this who has never heard "Holy Mountain" but if there is you better put this at number one on your most wanted list.

Jun 12, 2009

Aquilonian letting bongzilla loose for a while

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Aquilonian is made up of members of "Bongzilla" and while they have that classic Stoner Doom sound like "Bongzilla" have,this band is of a more experimental/psychedelic nature.According to this interview with Mike from the band,"Bongzilla" will live on forever but in the meantime,"Aquilonian" are filling the void.

1. First of all lets run through all the members of the band and where did they come from, previous bands etc?

Michael Henry: Percussion/Vox. Mike was in a great band called Pachinko. They released records on Jello Biafra’s label, Alternative Tentacles.
Michael Makela: Riffs/Vox. Both of us were in Bongzilla.

2. So what happened to Bongzilla and how did this band come into being?

Bongzilla will never die! We are on “High-atis” right now. Aquilonian began when Mike and I lived together and would jam for hours on end.

3. The band has a more psychedelic edge to it than Bongzilla did, is this a sound you always wanted to have?

Aquilonian is an exploration into our combined psyches. Getting off on the music is the goal. This is what I’ve always wanted, that Bongzilla didn’t always provide. I’ve always wanted musical freedom, and Aquilonian achieves just that.

4. What do you write about and was it hard to get away from writing about weed?

We’ve written songs about life, death, healing, regeneration, and the 2013 prophecies according to the Mayan culture. Singing only about weed was harder than what we write about now. It’s liberating to write about topics I could not explore in Bongzilla.

5. The band has kept a pretty low profile, I been looking for info on the band but have not been able to find much. What is on the horizon for the band as far as recordings and live shows are concerned?

You probably won’t find much. We feel that Aquilonian is for our enjoyment, which is my primary concern. Don’t get me wrong; it’s great if people like our music, but it’s not the focus of the band. If other people enjoy our music it is a wonderful bonus. My fear, when sharing Aquilonian, is it will lose it’s musical purity.
Releasing material will slowly come. We’ve recorded a 30 minute piece that may be released shortly through Choking Hazard Records in Montreal. Anyone who is interested in releasing new material can contact us through Myspace @ www.myspace/aquilonian. A short tour is being planned for the fall. Look for upcoming shows in Madison, WI on our Myspace page as well.

6. The vocal sound is also very different from Bongzilla, is there a vocalist that the band is influenced by and what’s the vibe is the band trying to put across?

Yes, it’s very different. Both Mike and I sing, with the intent of creating a “chorus of angels.” Some vocal influences are Pink Floyd, The Beach Boys, Floor (the later years), and of course, Ozzy.

7. How long have you lived in Wisconsin?

We’ve lived here our entire lives. Born and raised in Weed-sconsin!

8. Is there something you want this band to achieve that you couldn't do in Bongzilla?

Bongzilla was confined by the limits of the rock and roll song. The rules do not apply to Aquilonian. We write pieces, or movements of music. We never play them the same way twice. There is no counting; it’s all based on our intuition and collective communication through our individual instruments.

9. What was the reaction like when you started Aquilonian? Have people been supportive?

People have been very supportive, which has been a big plus, as it isn’t really a big concern. We’ve already had offers to release material, play festivals and tour. As I said before, Aquilonian is a self indulgent project and to have had so many opportunities already is wonderful.

10. Record deals; have you been talking to anyone?

Yes, a couple of things are in the works. We’re doing a split CD with Sollubi, and a cool, 8 band seven-inch comp. Again, anyone interested can contact us through Myspace.


11. Are there any non-doom/stoner acts that are a big influence? I read Pink Floyd is one of them....

Both of us grew up on heavy 70’s rock: Sabbath, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Cactus, Nazareth, Captain Beyond, Pentagram, James Gang, Mountain…
Some of the new acts we listen to are Sleep, Eyehategod, Weedeater, Cavity, Electric Wizard, Floor, Today is the Day, High on Fire, Rwake, and Cuda, to name a few.

12.What is your opinion on the pathetic state of music that is currently in the mainstream. Do you think there is any hope for it? I think we are pretty much fucked no matter what!

Pathetic is an accurate description, although I think it will eventually create a more extreme underground scene. I don’t think we’re fucked. Good weed is like good music; the shittier and harsher the conditions are for growth, the better the end result.

13. Could you live without playing music and if you did what would you be doing?

No, never. I’d probably be in jail for some reason [drugs] or another [more drugs].

14. Drugs and in particular, weed, is a very important influence for a lot of Doom, Stoner and Psychedelic acts. Have you got an opinion on bands jumping on the Weed bandwagon, which has been going on for years now? It seems to be a little predictable for a lot of bands to write about it now.

If you truly live the lifestyle, I think it’s ok. But if you’re just singing about weed because you think it’s “cool”…well, that’s weak. Everyone in Bongzilla lived it. Our songs were stories from our everyday lives.

15. Any final words for the Doomheads out there?

Rejoice and Doom on. Sonic perversion through volume!

Jun 11, 2009

Long Live Globalization Split Album

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Here is a review of a 3 way split album available 100% free from the Funerart Store that is definitely worth picking up if you like good quality Drone,Doom and Dark Ambient Music.First band i want to talk about is "Templvm Domini" who dish up some Funeral Drone sounding tracks that are extremely dark to say the least.The atmosphere is one of hellish proportions,like sitting around a haunted swamp.These tracks can give you the chills,the growling in the background of the second track of theirs "Hermapherion" is pure evil.I don't really know anything about this band but this a band i will be seeking out more information from.This is some real haunting Ambient soundtrack pieces that grow on you like fungus."About The Light" deliver the piece "Kvlt Torments & Torments" which is another haunting track.Can you see a theme with this split happening here ?The 17 minute dirge starts off with some heavy Piano notes and slowly progresses into a "Pink Floydish" extended composition that while it demands a lot from the listener it has some real nice but subtle mood swings."Mar Negro" is the other band on here and this is the slightly more accessible thing on offer here."Mantaza De Inocentes" and "Black Dead Shapes" are a great example of Funeral Drone.These 2 tracks are my pick of the album but the other tracks are also very good.The band has a real flair for making some scary pieces of Ambient Noise and the astmospheric feel to the songs are just enormously well done.Remember this is all up for free download at http://www.funerart.org/storefree.html 8/10

Jun 10, 2009

Within The Torn Apart - Drone In Blood Out 2007/2009

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W.T.T.A's "Drone In Blood Out" comes packaged in some beautiful artwork that you rarely see in a underground project like this.I found myself staring at it continually when i first give this its first spin.Brilliant piece of work done here,bands need to check this out.I have heard Drone been referred to as "Brown Noise",what this means exactly i don't know.Maybe it means you shit yourself when you hear it,i don't know....What i do know is the opening "Drone In Blood Out" is a colossal track that fills the room with sound.Filled with sustained tension and atmosphere,the piece is a instant classic in the Drone genre.Sustained tension is the best way to describe the music here,it pulsates with a feeling of despair but with a over riding feeling the music is going to explode at any minute.Of course it doesn't,it keeps the tension stranglehold going to the last note.Like all good Drone music,the tracks are long.The first two tracks alone take up some 23 minutes but both tracks build with atmosphere and have a Horror movie theme quality to them."To Rage In Sound Of Valiant Despair" is a great example of how to create something truly beautiful in one way but scary as hell in another.Multi dimensional soundtracks that make you think or even trip to the point of losing your mind completely.These songs can put you on edge if you let them.Another highlight is "The Day Of My Disaster",another nicely constructed piece of Sonic Drone Doom that has a real sinister appeal to it."Darkness Into Light"continues in even more darker fashion,fans of Sunn O))) will dig this stuff as will fans of the more Ambient Black Metal Stuff.There is some real dark vibes going on here."A Slow Frenzy Of Despair" is full of electricity and fuzz,sort of a static filled nightmarish piece of noise rock.This track is pure gold!!!There is a total of 7 tracks on here and there is not much filler,rare for a Drone CD.With so many Drone bands around these days making music that to be honest is about as interesting as watching paint dry,it is a refreshing to hear something that warrants repeat listening s.Check it out,a must for fans of Drone Doom.9/10

Jun 9, 2009

Forests Of Old: Voices From Oblivion EP

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As most people know i don't review many Black Metal acts but this band made me change all that because this is so good,it can't be ignored.The E.P kicks off with "Dark Passenger" which is a dark brooding slab of Black Metal.There is a sinister down-tempo feel to some of the track but is also full of brain melting fast passages which at first listen reminds you of Bathory's finest works."From Within the Fog" is different though because its reeks of macabre ambiance,it's really just a short interlude before launching into " Prides Victim With Wulv which brings you back to earth or is that hell.A classic piece of Black Metal mayhem.Shredding riffs are bound to leave you exhausted as the track rips from start to finish.The track doe's have a slower mid section but its no less heavy or dramatic.The songs has a epic " Dimmu Borgir" feeling about it but without sounding like a rip off in any way.The vocals are a highlight of this EP,full of tormented cries and anguish.The rest of the EP continues in the same vein of Black Metal meets Ambient darkness.The sound on here is great,perfect for what they are doing as its pretty much un-likely you find anything better in Black Metal these days.This will appeal to both fans of old Black Metal and some of the newer stuff as well.Impressive but short,can't wait for a full length from them.9/10

Jun 8, 2009

Moss - Tombs of the Blind Drugged

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Last year’s Sub Templum was one of the most extreme exercises in monolithic Doom ever created and now they are back.A bit different this time around but no less punishing.Tombs of the Blind Drugged has shorter tracks than usual but it is no less devastating as they deliver 4 tracks of crushing subterranean Doom Sludge but yet its somewhat restrained.One of the big changes is vocalist Olly Pearson is more on show here showcasing his trademark screams.Although this is a EP you still get 4o minutes of classic Moss starting with "Skeletal Keys" a monster of a track that continues on where the last album finished off.After that however things are a bit more subdued mainly due to the the production which is a little under-produced and flat.A minor criticism however as this is still one of those head crushing releases that will stand the test of time.Moss after all grows in cold and damp places and that is the kind of atmosphere this music creates.Second track "Tombs Of The Blind Drugged and Third track "Serpent" have a simple but effective arrangement that benefits from the use of a organ which adds new depth to their style of Occult Horror Doom.There is more a sense of melody on these tracks than on previous releases but still is as heavy and dark than they have ever been.The big surprise here is the final track which is a cover of "Discharge's" "Maimed And Slaughtered" and while its a good version the previous original tracks are the real highlights.This continues their reign as one of the heaviest bands on the planet.9/10

New Keepers Of The Water Towers - Chronicles

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A couple of weeks back and was surprised to find this CD had been delivered to my place.Surprised because i had never heard much from the band and they were not even on my friend list on Myspace.I don't even know the dude who sent it ha ha..Not knowing what what to expect i inserted the disc into the CD player and got on the Internet to do some research on the band.The music was so massive from the start i soon found myself sitting in front of the stereo being more than impressed with this Swedish outfit.From what i can work out this is a combination of 2 EP's and when you listen from start to finish you can hear the subtle differences.Musically the band ranges from typical Swedish Stoner Rock to Doom to a all out Metal assault.Comparisons to Mastodon are kind of obvious but i prefer this band's take on Epic Beast Metal as they call it.There is 3 members of the band all contributing vocals which range from very clean singing to caveman growls.Not all the songs grab me though with the longer tracks being the main highlights to my ears.

“Pursuit of Yeti,” “Rise of the Lizard King” and “Flight of the Reptilians” are the real killers on the album while the shorter tracks like “Awrecktion " seem to lack something.They attack but don't leave any lasting memory.There is plenty of changes to the pace with “Scientists and the Man of Ice,” and “New Sleepers” really breaking things up.One good thing is they have the Swedish Stoner Rock trademarks a la "Spiritual Beggars" influenced Stoner Metal inspired material but they also branch into a lot more Progressive Metal mostly during the second half of the CD.At one hour plus in duration,there is plenty to take in and they are one of those bands if one track doesn't grab you,the next one will.This is a mixed but massive sounding release.They refer to themselves as “dwelling beastrock " and that pretty much sums up the music on here.Give them a listen....8/10

Jun 7, 2009

J "Boomer" Grenier From Hounds Of Hasselvander - 27 years behind the kit

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J "Boomer" Grenier is one of those underrated musicians that after 27 years you would think he be a household name by now.This is one of the finest Drummers around with one hell of a Drumming resume behind him.Most of the Doom scene will now him as being the man behind the kit for "The Hounds Of Hasselvander" but he has more,a lot lot more.Here is a great interview with the man.Hope you like it.......


1.First thing i must say is 27 years in the music business is a long time for anyone. What has been the positive and negative experiences for you ?

WELL, I'D SAY THAT THE POSITIVE SIDE IS HAVING THE EXTREME PLEASURE OF WORKING WITH SO MANY GREAT MUSICIANS (BOTH WELL KNOWN & LOCALS IN MY AREA), MEETING SO MANY UNBELIEVABLE PEOPLE IN THE INDUSTRY FROM PRODUCERS, ENGINEERS, GEAR COMPANIES, VENUE OWNERS, PROMOTERS ETC. I HAVE DEFINITELY MADE A LOT OF FRIENDS OVER 27 YEARS IN THE BUSINESS AND IT CONTINUES TO GO ON AND ON. I AM CERTAINLY GRATEFUL FOR THAT.

THE NEGATIVE SIDE HAS BEEN DEALING WITH THE OCCASIONAL SHADY VENUE OWNERS, MANAGEMENT COMPANIES, & GENERAL SLEAZE BALLS THAT DON'T CARE ABOUT THE MUSIC, THE FANS, & THE BANDS THEY HIRE. IT'S LIKE ANY BUSINESS. PEOPLE WANT A PIECE OF YOU FOR THEIR OWN GAIN AND YOU JUST HAVE TO BE CAREFUL AND CHECK EVERYTHING OUT AHEAD OF TIME AND WATCH YOUR BACK. WHAT DOESN'T KILL YA MAKES YOU STRONGER & I TURN THE NEGATIVE INTO POSITIVE AND ALWAYS LEARN SOMETHING FOR THE FUTURE.

2.I know its hard to sum up 27 years in a few words but can you give the readers a run down of your musical history ?

I'VE PLAYED DRUMS, GUITAR, AND BASS THROUGH MY EARLY YEARS , AND HAVE ALSO BEEN THE LEAD VOCALIST PLAYING ALICE COOPER IN A TRIBUTE BAND CALLED "BILLION DOLLAR BABIES" BACK IN THE MID- NINETIES. I AM STICKING TO MY FIRST LOVE.. DRUMS, AND IM CURRENTLY PLAYING WITH THREE GREAT BANDS. I WAS FORTUNATE TO HAVE BEEN RECRUITED LAST YEAR BY JOE HASSELVANDER OF RAVEN / PENTAGRAM FAME TO BE THE DRUMMER IN HIS SIDE SOLO BAND "THE HOUNDS OF HASSELVANDER". THAT WAS MIND BLOWING AS I WAS A RAVEN FAN GOING BACK TO THE FIRST ALBUM BEFORE JOE WAS IN THE BAND. I HAVE A GREAT RESPECT FOR JOE AS A PERSON AND DRUMMER AND APPRECIATE THAT HE SAW ME FIT TO PLAY THE KIT BEHIND HIM IN "THE HOUNDS".

I ALSO HAVE BEEN PLAYING DRUMS IN A STRAIGHT AHEAD ROCK/ HARD ROCK BAND CALLED BOTTOMS UP FOR FIVE YEARS. WE'VE PUT OUT A COUPLE CD'S, DVD/CD PACKAGE, AND HAVE BEEN GREAT FRIENDS FOR YEARS AND HAVE ALL PLAYED TOGETHER IN PREVIOUS BANDS. IT'S A GREAT OUTLET AND FUN.

LASTLY, I PLAY DRUMS WITH UPCOMING GUITAR GOD STEVE BURROWS. I DO STEVE'S GUITAR CLINICS AND CONCERTS WHEN MY SCHEDULE ALLOWS. WE ARE ACTUALLY WORKING ON A FULL STUDIO ALBUM (TO BE RELEASED HOPEFULLY NEXT YEAR) WHEN WE HAVE TIME IN BETWEEN OUR BUSY SCHEDULES. IT SHOULD BE KILLER.

3.What has it been like working with Joe,i think the guy is a true legend in rock. Very underrated and under - appreciated.

JOE IS A RIOT AND HAS GREAT ROAD STORIES! WE ALL HAVE A GREAT TIME ON THE ROAD. I'LL TELL THOUGH, HE IS EXTREMELY TALENTED AND I AGREE VERY UNDERRATED. I MEAN, HE WROTE, PLAYED, AND PRODUCED EVERYTHING ON 'THE HOUNDS" CD. THE MATERIAL IS GREAT! IT WILL STAND THE TEST OF TIME. JOE DEFINITELY KNOWS WHAT HE WANTS MUSICALLY AND IS DOING EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO MAKE SURE HE GETS IT AND GIVES THE FANS THE BEST PRODUCT AND SHOW POSSIBLE. I AM EXTREMELY GRATEFUL TO JOE AND ERIC (HOUNDS BASSIST)FOR APPROACHING ME TO BE A PART OF "THE HOUNDS". IT'S DEFINITELY BEEN A BIT OF A STRANGE TRIP AT TIMES AND WELL WORTH IT. WE'RE LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING "THE HOUNDS" AS FAR AS WE CAN AND I'M GIVING ALL THAT I CAN. HOPEFULLY WE'LL GET TO WHERE WE WANT AND WHERE WE SHOULD BE. TIME WILL TELL.

4.You have some huge shows coming up,can you tell us what is your schedule for the rest of the year ?

WELL, THERE ARE SOME THINGS IN THE WORKS FOR "THE HOUNDS" THAT
I CAN'T CHAT ABOUT YET BUT AS ALWAYS, AS SOON AS THINGS ARE FINALIZED WE'LL DEFINITELY LET EVERYONE KNOW. I WILL SAY THAT WE'RE WORKING ON DOING A TOUR(S) THIS FALL.

BOTTOMS UP WILL BE DOING SOME SHOW(S) WITH JUDAS PRIEST AND WHITESNAKE IN AUGUST, AND I HAVE SOME DATES I'LL BE DOING WITH STEVE BURROWS IN THE FALL ALSO. I'M DEFINITELY KEEPING BUSY. ANYONE CAN CONTACT ME AND/OR KEEP UP WITH WHAT I'M DOING AT MY MYSPACE PAGE. WWW.MYSPACE.COM/BOOMERJNK

5.Going on to drums,what was the inspiration for you to play drums and who is your favorite drummers ?

I SAW KISS ON THE PAUL LYNDE HALLOWEEN SPECIAL IN 1976 AND THAT WAS IT. I WANTED TO BE IN A BAND AND PLAY A HUGE DRUM KIT LIKE PETER CRISS. KISS IS STILL MY FAVORITE BAND TO THIS DAY.
GROWING UP I LISTENED TO ALOT OF 70S & 80S MUSIC. HEAVEN AND HELL IS ONE OF MY FAV ALBUMS AND BILL WARD WAS DEFINITELY AN EARLY INFLUENCE ON MY PLAYING. I HAVE SO MANY FAVORITE DRUMMERS FOR DIFFERENT REASONS BUT HERE'S A LIST OF SOME OF MY FAVORITES AND INFLUENCES OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD.

PETER CRISS, ERIC CARR, ERIC SINGER, BILL WARD, TOMMY ALDRIDGE, NICKO McBRAIN, CLIVE BURR, BOBBY RONDINELLI, FRANKIE BANALI, COZY POWELL, TOMMY LEE, JOHN BONHAM, LEONARD HAZE, AND JOE HASSELVANDER LOL AND THERE'S REALLY MANY MORE. I COULD JUST GO ON & ON

6.What about underrated drummers,there is a lot of them out there.

OH YEAH.. TONS OF UNDERRATED GUYS. SOME I LISTED ABOVE.
BOBBY RONDINELLI IS DEFINITELY ONE OF THOSE GUYS. THE WORK HE'S DONE WITH RAINBOW, SABBATH, BOC AND HIS OWN BAND: RONDINELLI ETC. SEEMS TO BE FORGOTTEN AND IT'S A SHAME.

FRANKIE BANALI ALSO... THE STUFF HE'S DONE WITH QUIET RIOT & WASP IS AMAZING. THESE GUYS HAVE PLAYED ON SO MANY GREAT ALBUMS THAT NO ONE EVER KNEW IT WAS THEM.

THEN THE OBVIOUS.. JOEY KRAMER (AEROSMITH) & PHIL RUDD (AC/DC)THE SIMPLISTIC GROOVE ROCK DRUMMERS THAT PLAY FOR THE SONGS AND NOT THEMSELVES. THEY ARE THE MASTERS OF STRAIGHT AHEAD SOLID DRUMMING. BELIEVE IT OR NOT... IT'S AS IMPORTANT TO KNOW WHEN TO PLAY AND WHEN NOT TO, AND THESE GUYS ARE THE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF TASTEFUL AND POWERFUL PLAYING.

7.When you are not playing what bands are some of your favorites to listen to ?

KISS, SABBATH, OZZY, PRIEST, MAIDEN, RAINBOW, UFO, ALICE COOPER, AEROSMITH, SKID ROW, DIAMOND HEAD, ZEPPELIN, TRIUMPH ETC. I LOVE THE HEAVY 70S BANDS AND THE COOL 80S BANDS. THERE'S A HANDFUL OF 90S AND CURRENT STUFF, BUT NOT MUCH OUT NOW THAT STANDS OUT TO ME ENOUGH TO DIG.

8.You also have some sponsorship deals with different companies,am i right and how important are these to you ?

YES, I DO. I HAVE SOME GREAT COMPANIES THAT I ENDORSE AND THEY ENDORSE ME. I HAVE BEEN APPROACHED BY MANY COMPANIES BUT ONLY DEAL WITH ONES THAT TRULY HAVE A GREAT PRODUCT THAT I WILL USE AND CAN FEEL GOOD TO STAND BEHIND. I USE EVERYTHING AND LOVE TO TURN OTHER DRUMMERS AND FRIENDS ONTO NEW GEAR WHEN I FIND SOMETHING THAT IS UNIQUE AND WORKS WELL FOR ME.
I LOVE THE PRODUCTS AND HAVE MADE SOME GREAT FRIENDS. FRIENDS AND GREAT GEAR ARE ALWAYS IMPORTANT TO ME.

9.Tell us about your favorite recordings you have been involved with ?

I'M REALLY PROUD OF THE BOTTOMS UP RECORDS WE'VE DONE. EDDIE JEAN AND EVAN DESMARAIS ARE AMAZING PLAYERS AND GREAT FRIENDS AND BAND MATES. WE'RE STILL WRITING TO FINISH UP A CD WE STARTED LAST FALL. THREE SONGS ARE IN THE CAN.

I ALSO DID A COVER VERSION OF ALICE COOPERS "BILLION DOLLAR BABIES" FOR A TRIBUTE CD THAT MICHAEL BRUCE AND NEAL SMITH FROM ALICES' ORIGINAL BAND WERE A PART OF. IT'S OUT OF PRINT BUT I'M SURE YOU CAN FIND IT ON EBAY OR SOMETHING.

I'M REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO DOING A NEW "HOUNDS" CD WITH JOE AND ERIC WHEN IT'S TIME.

10.Do you love being on the road,you seem to be always moving ?

I LOVE IT! I REALLY LOVE TO TRAVEL. MY FAMILY ISN'T SO HAPPY ALL THE TIME ABOUT IT BUT THEY UNDERSTAND AND KNOW IT'S PART OF THE BUSINESS. HEY I BRING BACK STUFF AND SHOT GLASSES FOR THE COLLECTION AND NOT ALWAYS JUST A LOUSY T-SHIRT. LOL
I LOVE BEING OUT ON THE ROAD AND MEETING PEOPLE AND HANGING WITH THE FANS AND FRIENDS IN OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY THAT I DON'T GET TO SEE MUCH. THAT'S REALLY THE ONLY TIME.

11.What is your opinion of the recording industry,are they as ruthless as people make out ?

HAHAHA. WHAT RECORD INDUSTRY?! IT'S ALMOST NON-EXISTENT. I GUESS AT ONE POINT IT WAS, AND ON SOME LEVELS IT CERTAINLY STILL IS BAD. EVERYONE IS OUT TO MAKE MONEY AND THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. HOWEVER, IF YOU INTENTIONALLY USE, MANIPULATE, MAKE YOUR MONEY, THEN DISCARD AN ACT OR ARTIST LIKE YESTERDAYS NEWS AND TRASH.. TO ME THAT'S NOT MORALLY RIGHT BUT THAT'S WHY THEY CALL IT SHOW BUSINESS. IF YOU DON'T SHOW THAT YOU HAVE BUSINESS, THEN UNFORTUNATELY IT BECOMES NO BUSINESS. SO.. THAT'S SHOW BUSINESS.

THAT'S WHY YOU'RE SEEING A LOT OF BANDS / ARTISTS PUTTING OUT THERE OWN CD'S. THEY HAVE TOTAL CONTROL OF THEIR MATERIAL. IT'S THE DISTRIBUTION THAT CAN BECOME THE DIFFICULT TASK. THUS THERE ARE SO MANY INTERNET STORES AND ONLINE BUYING OUTLETS.

12.Is there any musicians you would love to do something with ?

OH YEAH! ABSOLUTELY!
THERE'S JUST SO MANY. I'D LOVE TO DO A PROJECT WITH MY GREAT LONG TIME FRIEND PAUL CROOK. PAUL IS AN AMAZING GUITARIST AND ENGINEER/PRODUCER. THAT WOULD BE METAL!

I'D LOVE TO GET A CALL TO PLAY DRUMS ON ONE OF THOSE COVER TUNE COMPILATIONS PAYING TRIBUTE TO A LEGENDARY ARTIST AND BE ON A TRACK WITH FOR EXAMPLE..
GEORGE LYNCH ON GUITAR, BRIAN MAY ON GUITAR, RUDY SARZO ON BASS, RONNIE JAMES DIO ON VOCALS ETC.
SOMETHING LIKE THAT WOULD RULE!

FRANKIE BANALI AND VINNY APPICE HAD THE BEST DRUM SLOTS DOING THE RECORDING FOR HEARING AID BACK IN THE EIGHTIES AND WORKING WITH ALL THOSE AMAZING SINGERS AND GUITARISTS.

13.Last one,a lot of drummers go under the radar for most people. I guess that comes from being up the back of the stage etc. Have you ever had any ambitions to be a guitarist or singer ?

HAHA! I HAVE BEEN A GUITARIST IN BANDS AND THE LEAD SINGER IN A COUPLE BANDS. NOTHING THAT REALLY DID ANYTHING PAST LOCAL / CLUB SITUATIONS THOUGH. I ENJOYED BEING BOTH FOR A SHORT TIME, BUT MY LOVE IS DRUMS. THE WAY I FIGURE IT IS, IF SOMEONE COMES TO A SHOW AND REALLY LIKES WHAT I DO AND WANTS TO COME UP TO ME AND CHAT... NO PROBLEM AND PLEASE DO. IF THEY DIG THE GUITARIST, BASSIST OR THE SINGER BECAUSE THEY ARE MORE IN THE SPOTLIGHT, OUT IN FRONT, AND DIG WHAT THEY DO, IT'S ALL GOOD. THAT JUST GET'S ME TO THE HOTEL, BAR, OR DINNER THAT MUCH QUICKER. LOL

PLAYING DRUMS IS THE PLACE FOR ME. BEING A GUITARIST OR SINGER WAS A NICE PLACE TO VISIT, BUT I DIDN'T WANT TO LIVE THERE.

14.Thanks for the interview. Hard to know what questions to ask when someone like yourself have done so much. Any last words or final thoughts for the readers out there ?

YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY WELCOME! I WOULD JUST THANK EVERYONE FOR THEIR CONSTANT SUPPORT FOR WHAT I DO AND AM INVOLVED IN! AS MUCH AS I DIG ALL TYPES OF MUSIC AND STYLES, THE DOOM METAL COMMUNITY HAS REALLY TAKEN ME INTO THE FOLD ALSO. I REALLY SAW IT IN INDIANAPOLIS WHEN "THE HOUNDS" HEADLINED THE TEMPLAR'S OF DOOM III FESTIVAL. THE DOOM METAL COMMUNITY IS EXTREMELY TIGHT YET, VERY WELCOMING. THAT'S REALLY WHAT MUSIC IS ABOUT IN ANY FORM AND GENRE, AND THAT'S HOW MUSIC LIVES, BREATHES AND GROWS.

SEE YA ON THE ROAD, KEEP IT METAL & DOOM ON!

ALL THE BEST!
J. "BOOMER" GRENIER

Disease Within - Killing Time

Image and video hosting by TinyPic I was sent a promo pack from for "Disease Within's" CD "Killing Time" and this is the way all bands should do things.Great package with CD,Photo,Bio,Lyrics and reviews.More bands should present themselves like this.The CD itself is one of the more interesting releases i have heard recently as it really doesn't fit into any specific genre of rock.It is a mixture of Grunge,Punk,Doom and Metal but isn't derivative at all.The CD opens with a nice little spoken word intro having a dig at modern day fads and trends.There is even a cool little dig at the Youtube video culture which is something i am surprised more bands don't comment on more often.When they launch into the first track you have a hard time keeping up with who this band sounds like.At times you get a "My Dying Bride" vibe and then that will turn into "Tool","The Melvins" or even "Helmet"The music twists and turns at a constant rate so getting into a groove with this band is very difficult.Of all the tracks on offer here,none really stands out as the mood moves and switches at a constant rate.The music is Doomish but this ain't no Doom band,this is a band that uses a certain Punk energy mixed with a smorgasbord of influences that leaves you scratching your head.The band have some odd vocal arrangements that can go from "Tool" like to "Bowieish" like melody's.Lyrics touch on religious themes,violence and cultural subjects that all of us that don't fit into the mainstream have a hard time dealing with.Overall i feel this band has got a lot of potential and a bright future in front of them.Just what market they will fit into is hard to say but if want to hear something different than maybe you might want to check them out.Out on Deadly Sin Records.8/10

Jun 4, 2009

Into The Fire

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Crowned By Fire are one pretty tight Metal outfit that have making waves within the scene for quite a while and yet they are still flying under the radar for a lot of people.Why is a bit of a mystery as this band kicks ass.With its in roots in classic metal they have progressed into their own way of doing things.Here is a interview with John from the band.

1.Give us a brief history of the band ? I know there is a lot of info on the Myspace page but can you give us a shorten version for the people that are too lazy to read !

Typical shit. Local dudes putting together the heaviest band of all time! And lotsa cheap beer…

2.The band has its roots in some classic Metal but there is a Southern/Stoner Metal thing going on too.It must be a bonus to have that range of influences !

Kinda hard to avoid these days. Where CBF meets as far as influences is the obvious Sabbath and Motorhead with an ever present intensity of Pantera from JR’s aggressive drumming and Justin’s guitar shredding. In 89’-90’ I was living in South Orange County and going to Saddleback College where I met artist Doug Rhodes who introduced me to Ruben Romano and Scott Hill who were just starting FU Manchu and my sister was going to Palm Desert High with Sons Of Kyuss and introduced me to Brant Bjork. I met up with Ruben and Scott at a Helmet/Melvins/Tad show and was totally blown away by the massive noise. My life changed, Ha! But yeah, the magic that keeps the CBF sound solid is that we’re all fans of old school rock/metal/punk and creating classic heavy shit is our ultimate vision.

3.What the early days of the band like ? Did you find it hard to find your feet or did the songwriting come easily ?

For once, -I found songwriting completely organic. I finally felt focused with my hocus-pocus.

4.A lot of bands these days are either over produced or over hyped.Is.Is this something you guys think about ?

Over produced and over hyped, -That would rule! -The robots would surely obey…
I’m down, money wouldn’t suck!

5.What was your early influences in Metal.Is there any bands you are embarrassed to admit you liked.With me it is Kiss,i still like the early albums but these days i try to keep that quiet ha ha !

As far as metal, Sabbath, Maiden and AC/DC, -Ok, Aerosmith, -I was a 70’s kid. Back in the Saddle made me wanna jump my bmx bike through a girl scout bonfire, but as far as KISS, Beth made me feel horny and sad but God Of Thunder made me want to sniff glue.

6.The guitar approach in Metal is a hard one to be original at ! Is there anything that sets the band apart from other bands ?

Well, Justin totally shreds and knows the importance of a riff. He’s the best of both testicles as far as a guitar player, but sharing a drunken bed on an olive tree farm in Florence Italy got kinda weird. Also, our bass player Dread is an amazing guitar player and songwriter. So basically as a singer I’m blessed being surrounded by amazingly smoking assholes…

7.What has been the highlights as far as live performances are concerned ?

Booze, concussions, projectile vomiting, Philthy’s nutts, Hollywood, Mojave, Body Art Expo's, getting banned from our local clubs and the typical motel room havoc…

8.What about your future shows,i read you got some big shows planned !

We’re just keeping’ ourselves busy locally for now. The permanent damage will incur once “Prone To Destroy” is released. -Europe is our primary victim!

9.I read somewhere you moved to L.A in 93.How did you finished up there and was moving there a bonus for being a Metal singer ?

Sort of, 93’-94’ was kind of magical to me in OC and LA. Playing shows with bands like The Mentors, White Zombie, Tool, DeeDee Ramone, Green Jello, HR (Bad Brains), The Weirdos, Fu Manchu etc… Shit was goin’ on. The Huntington Beach band split then Travis Johnson (The Dickies) asked me to join/form the Hollywood punk rock cover band Lame Brains which also featured members of Angry Samoans and Brujeria. My highlight with them was a show at the infamous Raji’s with The Obsessed and a DOA reunion show. Then I started a band with Jamie Mitchell (HR Human Rites guitarist) and Travis Johnson. It was a slow heavy Pink Floyd-ish sort of thing that didn’t fit in with all the lame rap rock shit ruling Hollywood at the time. Basically I never fit in and it didn’t matter what year it was. -I‘ll save it for the book… Humans will always need things to burn…

10.What about singing influences.What there any singers that really influenced you in stepping behind the mic ?

Fukkin’ A, -Ozzy, Lemmy, Lux Interior, Bon Scott, HR, Iggy Pop, Michael Gira, Scott Kelly, Jello Biaffra, Darby Crash, Jim Morrison, Eric Burdon, Danzig, Joey Ramone, Wendy O. Think I have to put Lux and Lemmy at numero uno. Lux always made me feel appropriately wrong and Lemmy's just one of the koolest fuckers on earth...

11.I also hear you have connections with Zaak Wylde ! Has he helped out the band in any way ?

Not yet beyond things like: (backstage at BLS show Milan, Italy) “Bro! You gotta go on tour with us!” -We’re still anticipating waiting, -AHEEMM! Also, Justin used to live in his guest house, help watch his kids and tour as a guitar tech for him a few years on guitar. -But his wife Barbaranne does infrequently give us some helpful advice.

12.Tell all the readers about the album "Prone To Destroy" which is due for release soon.How long have you been working on it and what can we expect from the album ?

Just to let you know this is a trick question. We recorded the album November 08’ in Florence Italy. That month in Italy is entirely a separate interview btw. Long story short, -CBF will be mixing the album close to home and releasing it soon on Molten Metal Productions UK on vinyl, cd and all the other download shit. One can expect relentless riffs, classic heaviness and a beefed up version of Blue Oyster Cult's Burnin' For You...…

13.What inspires the lyrics in the tunes ? Is there anything that is going on the world that makes you think i have to write about that !

There will always be reasons to write and relate to revenge, destruction, ritual, sex, drugs and outer space… Life is horror as far as I'm concerned...

14.What is your opinion on the way the Internet has influenced the Metal scene ? It seems anyone with a computer and a guitar can pretend to be a rock star these days !

Don’t forget photo shop skills. Damn, -wish I had some of those though. Fuck, I do it without a guitar, Ha!

15.Is it true you are a full time body piercer ? How long you been doing that ?

Yep, -Aside from the initial intrigue of random tribal nudity in National Geographic, It was a profession I got into over 15 years ago so I could pursue music and be a 24 hour rocker. I never should have sold that chopper!

16.Is there any long term plan on how long you can keep the band going or are you planning on being another Dio and singing till your 70 ?

I’d like to evolve into the Tom Waits/Nick Cave of metal...

17.To finish up now before i get too carried away.Can you tell the readers,labels,promoters and everybody else how to get into contact with the band ?

Hit us up on myspace.com/crownedbyfire or crownedbyfire@hotmail.com and soon we should have our website at crownedbyfire.net. -Had the .com till someone swooped it from us then tried to sell it back to us for 2 thousand bucks. -Beware the vultures always squatting’ in the wing. Also, our first EP "As The World Burns" is available at CD Baby and iTunes...

Jun 3, 2009

Desolation - one man drone machine

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Desolation are one of the best one man band projects you will ever hear at the moment.Very much in the Ambient Doom vein,the man behind the music (kei) has got some great ideas and they are improving all the time.He has a healthy catalog of material already available and i suggest to all the readers to give it a listen.


1.Hello, thanks for allowing me to give this interview. Can you tell everyone when did the first idea for Desolation take place ?

A few years back, actually. I just never had the money to get this started then. Couldn’t ever find anyone to play in this sort of band in this backwards hell I live in, so I thought it better to handle it myself.

2.Was the idea to do a one man band thing something you always wanted to do or was it just a way of doing it your way without all the personal clashes ?

Both, really. People never played the way they needed to in these things. It was either too slow for them, the parts where too odd, they wanted me to sing clean, etc. I figured I had been forced to take over enough instruments for lazy, unmotivated band members that I could probably manage on my own, so I put my old ideas to work.

3.The style is very much in the Doom style but with a ambient twist. Is there any one band that influenced you in going for this style ?

Yeah, it’s not what you’d expect though. Skepticism. Very definitely Skepticism. Lately I’ve been listening to things like Fungoid Stream and Celestiial and taking a lot back from them.

4.There is thousands of one man projects out there and the internet has made it easier than ever to get your music heard but do you think the scene has become saturated with weak musicians because of this ?

Definitely. I consider myself one of those, actually. Always in need of improvement.

5.You have already recorded a lot of material. You must spend a lot of time recording to have all this output ?

Less than you’d think. The first one took a while (Misery, about 4-5 months), but after that I had a better feel for the whole thing, and I go into it with more experience and a better idea of what it is I want. Plus, no other people to deal with. So on average, for one of my albums, it takes about 2 months if there are no issues. For the splits, of course, it takes however long it takes.

6.Tell us about the label you are involved with...

About Nax Records I really don’t have much info to give. They’re releasing Misery in a limited run of around 300 I think. And Funereal Drone is my own little thing. The way things are going it may be just for me and 1 or 2 others soon. I release my split albums and my personal stuff on FD, so when Misery sells out (if it does), I’ll put it back on FD again. Right now, Anlipnes is working on their demo for FD, and Laiha has an album coming out on the 13th, in a limited run of 100 copies.

7.Doing everything yourself is never too easy.Is there one instrument you wish you could have help with or are you very confident on all the instruments you play ?

Guitar. Godawful tiny little strings. I love the way it sounds, but I hate playing it. I’m originally a bassist, so I’m just not into the tiny little razor wires on that thing. And I’m working on my keyboard skills. My piano needs a LOT of work. Honestly, I’ve been very consistently shocked at how well the sound seems to come together, because I taught myself to do all this because of band lineup issues. From a technical point of view, I have no idea what I’m doing on anything but vocals and bass.

8.A lot of people have a hard time understanding Doom, Drone or Ambient style music. I blame this on a short attention span that most people have these days. Do you agree that the music world has a kind of fast-food type of mentality ?

Definitely. I’ve been told so many times by so many people that I need to play faster, or more technical. They just want something to move around to and hit each other. There’s definitely a huge attention deficit lately. Try to get people to sit down and focus on something, and they get angry. Music should mean something. It should hold your attention, force you to slow down and focus on it. The world is over-saturated with horrible little nothing bands these days that all sound the same, look the same, and somehow manage to sell millions of copies while the people doing something different languish on the outside of things with almost no recognition at all. No one is willing to take a chance on something different. Different doesn’t sell. It’s very sad, really. Hopefully things take something of a turn for the better sometime soon.




10.You are one of the few people out there that could do a 60 minute plus concept album and get away with it. Have you ever thought about doing this ?

I started with Anguish. I may do one soon to push it further. Anguish turned out too sparse for me. I like it, but I hear many things that could/should be changed/replaced. I’ll definitely do something like that sometime in the future. Anguish managed 57:14 or so, the next time I do something like that, it will be over 60 minutes.

11.You are from Alabama,what is your opinions on the music scene there ?

Not really from Alabama, just stuck here. Originally I’m from Germany. Born there anyway. So my mentality is definitely not a match for this area. And there is no music scene here. In Atlanta, definitely, and I may be going back there soon enough, but here? I’m sure there are a few things going on, but not in my area.

12.What really bugs you in the Metal scene at the moment ?
…..So very many things……Probably better not to go into this right now.

13.Can you let all the readers now some information on how to get hold of your recordings ?

The Funereal Drone page is down and not likely to be back up anytime soon, so right now, the easiest way is to check my blog about the FD listings, and message me with an order inquiry. Perhaps sometime in the future I’ll put the page back up, but right now, I can’t really keep up with it. I’ll most likely go to a more professional disc format in the future, but right now I print them myself. I keep the pictures of the albums in my photo section, so anyone that wants to see how the releases look can see them there.

14.Thanks again for the interview, any last words ?
My thanks to you for doing this. And to anyone that reads this as well as anyone that currently listens to my music or decides to go check it out. The people that understand what I do are what encourages me to keep going.


http://www.myspace.com/keidesolation

Ubel - German for evil

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Ubel are a dark Ambient outfit with a strong Black Metal approach.There songs have some real depth and feeling to them that left me very impressed.They asked me to do a interview and i just had to do it,here it is.

1.First up,can you tell the readers how this band came together ?

LC:THE BAND IF YOU WANT TO CALL IT THAT WAS ORIGINALLY A SOLO PROJECT BY CHRIST INSULTOR FOR HIM TO JUST MAKE RANDOM NOISE.I JOINED IN LATE 2007 AND HAVE CONTRIBUTED IN VARIOUS WAYS.I WOULDN'T CALL THIS A BAND AS WE BOTH HAVE HIGHER PRIORITY'S.THIS I WOULD SAY IS MORE OF A VISION AND A VEHICLE FOR SATAN.WE ALSO ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO WORK WITH US.WULV FROM FUNERAL DUST/FORESTS OF OLD CONTRIBUTED HEAVILY TO THIS ALBUM,BUT NO ONE HAS A DECIDED ROLE ON WHAT THEY DO.VERY STRANGE TO SOME BUT IT IS THE WAY UBEL WORKS.




2.The sound of the band is a mix of sounds and influences,how do you categorize the band ?


LC:I WOULD SAY THAT THERE ARE QUITE A FEW DIFFERENT INFLUENCES,STUFF,LIKE THE SWANS,GODFLESH,MAYBE FIRST WAVE BLACK METAL,SUNN O))) AND DEFINITELY ABRUPTUM.THEY WOULD PROBABLY BE THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE IN TERMS OF SOUND,BUT UBEL IS SO MUCH MORE THEN JUST THE MUSIC.I THINK IT IS BEYOND CATEGORIZATION!!




3.The music is dark and ambient,what inspires the music ?

LC:DEATH AND SATAN



4.Have you had many reviews and if so have they been fair describing your music ?

LC:NO WE HAVE HAD NONE.WE HAVE RELEASED 3 RECORDS BUT ALL PRETTY MUCH UNDER THE RADAR,WHICH IS FINE WITH ME,BECAUSE WE SEE THIS AS TRUE UNDERGROUND MUSIC WITH NO PLACE IN MAINSTREAM MUSIC OR CULTURE.


5.Do you see the band getting out and doing some tours ?

LC:THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION.I WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO GIVE AN HONEST ANSWER TO THAT,I GUESS WE COULD,BUT A SHOW INVOLVING UBEL WOULD BE QUITE INSANE.IT WOULD HAVE TO BE PERFECT IN EVERY WAY,IN ALL ASPECTS OF PRESENTATION IF IMPOSSIBLE?NO.UNLIKELY?YES!





6.Tell us about some of the songs on the album.

LC:ALTHOUGH THERE ARE 6 TRACKS ON THIS RECORD,THEY WERE CONCEIVED IN A MANNER WHERE IT ALL FLOWS LIKE ONE VERY LONG RITUAL,WHICH IS ALL ANY UBEL RELEASE IS,EVEN THE SPLIT WE DID WAS CONCEIVED IN THE SAME WAY,EVEN THOUGH IT WAS ONLY 1 SONG.THIS ALBUM REVOLVES AROUND DIFFERENT FORMS OF ANTI COSMIC MAGIC,ESPECIALLY SEXUAL MAGIC.




7.Has it been easy for you to come up with ideas for songs and what is the writing process ?

LC:SOMETIMES YES OTHERS NO.THIS ALBUM ACTUALLY WAS STARTED ABOUT 1 1/2 AGO.WE HAD THE ROUGH BLUEPRINTS FOR THE ALBUM AND WERE DEEPLY INSPIRED TORTURE AND SEXUAL MAGIC FOR THIS RECORD.ANY ALBUM WE DO ALWAYS HAS MANY LAYERS TO IT,BOTH VISUALLY,MUSICALLY,AND IF AND WHEN WE EVER ADD VOCALS TO THESE SONGS,THE SAME APPLIES.THE PROCESS WILL START WITH A GUITAR OR KEYBOARD IDEA MOSTLY OR A HORRIFIC PERSONAL EXPERIENCE'S.ITS ALL VERY SPONTANEOUS.




8.What is your views on Satanism ?

LC:WE ARE INVOLVED IN A FORM OF ANTI COSMIC SATANISM.I WILL GO NO FURTHER ON THIS SUBJECT.




9.Give us some information on your recordings,when and where were they recorded ?

LC:WE HAVE A HOME STUDIO WHERE WE RECORD THESE RITUALS.I HAVE SINCE MOVED OVER AN HOUR AWAY,SO MY EVERYDAY INVOLVEMENT ISN'T AS MUCH.OUR FIRST RECORD BLASPHEMOUS SUPER CRUCIFIX WAS RECORDED BEFORE I JOINED.IT WAS SELF RELEASED AND OUT OF PRINT,UNLESS A LABEL WOULD BE INTERESTED IN RELEASING IT.THIS ALBUM WAS RECORDED AT WOLFS LAIR STUDIOS AND IN MY OPINION IS FAR MORE SUPERIOR TO ANY RELEASE WE HAVE DONE.WE WILL NEVER BE A PRO-TOOLS SOUNDING BAND.NOTHING CLEAN AND POLISHED ABOUT US,I ASSURE YOU.




10.The songs on your Myspace page have a lot of Doom within them.Are you big fans of Doom Metal ?

LC:YES ABSOLUTELY.WE ARE ALL FANS OF FUNERAL DOOM AND EVEN TRADITIONAL DOOM AS WELL.BUT AS WITH ALL GENRES THEIR IS GARBAGE AND THE DOOM SCENE IS NO DIFFERENT.BUT BANDS LIKE BURNING WITCH,REVEREND BIZARRE,SHAPE OF DESPAIR,MOURNFUL CONGREGATION ARE BIG FAVORITES WITH US.




11.Where did the name come from ?

LC:IT IS GERMAN FOR EVIL.VERY SUITABLE.CLEAN AND SIMPLE AND STRAIGHT TO THE POINT.



12.Plans for the rest of this year and beyond.

LC:AS FOR THE REST OF THIS YEAR,WE'LL PROBABLY LAY LOW,PROMOTE THIS ALBUM AS BEST AS WE CAN.OUR OTHER PROJECTS ARE VERY ACTIVE SO I DON'T SEE US DOING ANYTHING ELSE MUSICALLY THIS YEAR.




13.Unlucky 13th question.Have you got any long term plans on changing the sound around in future or do you think you will stick to the sound you have ?

LC:AS LONG AS THE MESSAGE STAYS THE SAME,THAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING.WE USE THIS PROJECT OR WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT,TO EXPERIMENT WITH ALL TYPES OF DIFFERENT SOUNDS AND STYLE,SO THE NEXT ALBUM COULD QUITE POSSIBLY SOUND VERY DIFFERENT.THERE ARE NO GUIDELINES.BUT YOU CAN REST ASSURED IT WILL SOUND EVIL,DEPRAVED,AND VERY DISTURBING.




14.Finally give the readers a rundown on how to get hold of your music.

LC:I STILL HAVE A FEW COPIES OF OUR LAT RECORD "SATANCI AUDIO TERROR"LEFT.KASPUTAN YAR RECORDS HAS COPIES OF THE SPLIT AND OUR NEWEST RECORD IS AVAILABLE FROM OUR LABEL "BENEATH THE FOG PRODUCTIONS"I BELIEVE BONE STRUCTURE MEDIA STILL HAS COPIES OF "SATANIC AUDIO TERROR" LEFT AS WELL
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