Dec 31, 2010

Dukatalon - Saved By Fear

Ok so name just one sludge, doom act from Israel ? Not an easy question is it, in fact this is the only one I can think of right now so that in itself makes Dukatalon an interesting prospect. I would have not even heard them if it wasn't for Relapse Records coming to the rescue and giving this an international release over a year after it was recorded and released locally on Sleeping Village Records. If you have ever seen the documentary "Heavy Metal in Baghdad," you would know that metal does in fact exist in that part of the world despite the handicap of living in such a controlled environment and some of the bands are great but for them, getting the music out to the rest of the world is just a nightmare that us westerners wouldn't and couldn't really understand. Dukatalon with Zafrir Zori (vocals and guitar), Lior Mayer (bass), and Yariv Shilo on drums have produced an album that is generic to a point but still brutally efficient at delivering some killer riffage with an aggressive attitude. Sounding in the vein of Eyehategod is not uncommon for American bands but it must be pretty extreme for a band from Israel to sound like this. At first I thought this might be a sub-par, recorded in a basement kind of record giving where they come from but I was pleasantly surprised to hear how professional this outfit is and how tasty is the production, this is world-class sludge-doom metal, not original but then again, who is ? The band have a great fuzzy guitar sound, abrasive vocals, thundering bass and sometimes a complex brand of drumming for a sludge band so all the right elements are here but what are the songs like ?

Opening track "Pai's" gets the album on a pulverizing start although kind of predictable for its 6 plus minutes but by the time second track, "Run" gets on its way, the hooks come thick and fast on what is an infectious collection of songs. The band obviously know how to make killer riffing but also how to make it a bit catchy which is something you don't come across that often in a sludge band. "Run" is the tune that reassured me that I won't have to worry too much about this being "just another band" slapping riffs together and cranking up the fuzz. There is some underlying quality to the tunes that keep this album's momentum flowing and it kicks ass. Make no mistake either about this being a sludge-album but it is a old-school one as the traditional songwriting of the past is used to great effect. Third track "ZX" offers no break from the pummeling attack either as it brings the album up to the 18 minute mark with crushing intensity. Just as the album becomes in danger of going into repeat mode, they bring out an almighty plodding riff in "Vagabond" which is the albums centerpiece and highpoint. While it is not all that different from what the rest of "Saved By Fear" has to offer, there is something about this track that has some staying power in your memory. Guitarist, Zafrir Zori has some groove to his weaponry that keeps this from sounding too predictable and the biting harshness of the vocals are just tortured beyond belief at times but if there is a weakness, it would be that as they get buried at times by the rest of the band but I guess you can blame the production for that.

The title track supply's a break from the chaos with an acoustic interlude and while the break is welcomed at first, this is the albums weakest track but it is also the shortest at only 3 and a bit minutes. However it is followed by the album's longest track titled "Electric Site" and this is monster example of sludge if I have ever heard one. Using a solid, steady tempo for over 9 minutes, this tune rumbles along beautifully with a mass of gigantic riffs that verge of old-school power metal at times. The overall effectiveness is lost just a tad by being too long and not having enough musical twists to keep it interesting but still the opening half of the song is worth the trip. "Gate of Mind" follows nicely with another great bout of riffage but it is interesting how the band changes gear in the song, so much so it almost sounds like a different band altogether. The last track up is "Mekonenet" and it offers no surprises, just more of the same but it is an intense sludge-doom hybrid that is typical of what is happening in sludge-doom circles but if it is good, its good so who cares. Don't expect any middle-east traditional sounds on this, this is a very americanized version of the genre and yes it is mostly very predictable and generic but they are great at what they do so it is hard to pick holes in what is happening on "Saved By Fear" when it is this good. The layers of sound are powerful but slightly over-done in passages and it takes away some of the intensity coming from the vocals. The production is still very good and I wasn't expecting that from a band from Israel and as you can see the artwork on this release is spectacular. Can't say this is perfect but it is still solid and this is certainly a band to watch out for in the future and three cheers to Relapse for putting this one out.......7.5/10
Dukatalon @ MySpace
Sleeping Village Records @ MySpace

Olde Growth And Buzzov*en - Winter Tours 2011

Get the new year off to a great start by checking out Olde Growth and Buzzov*en on their Winter Tours. Here are the dates, don't miss out.

01/02 The Cookie Jar, New Haven, CT w/ Edhochuli, Worn Out Tiger, World’s Strongest Man
01/03 AS220, Providence, RI w/ Thrillhouse, Mout, Mouth of Flowers
01/05 The Archeron, Brooklyn, NY w/ Bad Dream, Lost Coves
01/07 The Meatlocker, Montclair, NJ w/ Lorba Linda, Stone Titan, Gowl, more
01/08 House Party, Philadelphia, PA w/ Bubonic Bear, more
01/09 Hole in the Sky, Washington D.C. w/ Ilsa, more
01/10 Strange Matter, Richmond, VA w/ Time Warp Trio
01/11 TBA, Charlotte, NC
01/12 The Drunken Unicorn, Atlanta, GA w/ Beeravore, Sadistic Ritual

01/13 Will’s Pub, Orlando, FL w/ Druid Lord, Putrescent Secretancy, Sterile Prophet

Olde Growth @ Myspace

Continuing to devastate America one tour at a time, sludgemongers Buzzov•en today announce their third tour installment since reuniting early in the year. Hitting all new markets throughout the Southern and Southeastern US this time, the band will hit the old dusty trail again in early February with Virginia‘s sludgesters Cough providing direct support. Confirmed appearances on this newly-announced rampage are as follows:

Buzzov•en /Cough Winter 2011 Tour:
2/04 Ground Zero Spartanburg, SC
2/05 The Jinx Savannah, GA
2/07 Siberia New Orleans, LA
2/08 Walters on Washington Houston, TX
2/09 Trees Dallas, TX
2/10 Downtown Music Little Rock, AR
2/11 Hi Tone Memphis, TN
2/13 Southgate House Newport, KY
2/15 Canal Club Richmond, VA
2/16 Casbah Durham, NC

Buzzov*en @ Myspace

Dec 30, 2010

Curse of the Eyeless Dead - Interview with Hooded Menace

Here is a new interview with Lasse Pyykkö from horror-doom masters HOODED MENACE. This one comes once again from new Doommantia writer Dr.Doom Metal from DR.DOOM'S LAIR. Thanks to the Doctor and Lasse for putting this together.....

Dr.D.: Congratulations on your newest record! What impressed me the most in “Never Cross the Dead” is the fact that the melodic parts are increased and that the lead guitar has a bigger role. Honestly, this came to me as bit surprise as I always thought that you would insist more in the death flavor of the first album. In your opinion what do you think was the biggest achievement in “Never Cross the Dead”? What in was the element that made it a success?

L.: Thanks! The extremities are stretched a bit. We submerged deeper into the dark but then again the album is more melodic or at least there're more of them this time around. Indeed the lead guitar is more on the map than on "Fulfill The Curse". I'm very happy with the songs on the both albums but "Never Cross The Dead" has more depth and layers making it more comprehensive experience.

Dr.D.: As far as I know after “Never Cross the Dead” the band was expanded with additional band members. Now Oula is cited as the vocalist of the band. Does this mean that mean that you are not going to hear any more of those creepy growls in future releases?

L.: Yeah, it's a four piece band now. I might do some backing vocals on the recordings (I already did on "I, Devil Master" that we recorded for Live Evil Fest compilation 2LP) but from now Oula will be responsible for the "creepy growls".

Dr.D.: Have you already recorded something with the new lineup? Can you explain the songwriting/recording process to us?

L.: Yes, we have already recorded the aforementioned "I, Devil Master". You can check it from our pages (myspace, facebook...) or get the "Live Evil Vol 1" 2LP in your hands. The recording session went pretty smoothly and I'm looking forward to the next session which should take place sometime in February 2011. We have planned to record new tracks for two split 7"EP's but I don't wanna reveal the details just yet.
The songwriting process goes as follows: I pick up my guitar, open Garageband from the laptop, record any good riff I come up with, build a song around it, record guitars, bass and program a drum machine track. If I have lyrics that I can use I record a rough vocal track. As a result I have a demo that I will e-mail to the other members and they will learn it. I rarely make any changes to the songs afterwards as everything's very well thought out during the demo phase. Sometimes I have more than one song under work. Sometimes I take weeks off as it's important to keep the flame burning so to speak and of course there's more to life than just music. So a short pause every now and then is pretty healthy. I don't wanna pollute the scene with 7393739 useless projects that now one cares about. There's too much garbage around these days anyway.
When we record something with the band we try to avoid professional studios as much as possible. Usually only the drums are recorded in a pro studio and the rest at the practice spot and at home on our own gear.

Dr.D.: Electric Wizard, Ramesses, Acid Witch and the list goes on! The 70’s underground horror films seem to have a heavy influence in doom scene lately. Horror film lyrics play a major role in Hooded Manage profile too! How did you find yourself inspired by those kinds of films in the first place? Can you imagine Hooded Menace writing about other concepts besides horror films?

L.: There's no Hooded Menace without horror. It wouldn't be the same. Even our name comes from the Blind Dead movies so we are bound to it forever. Horror and metal have always went well hand in hand. In our case it's a match made in heaven (or hell) and it was very obvious right from the beginning that horror will play a big role in Hooded Menace. We all dig horror films from the past and find it a vast source of inspiration.

Dr.D.: Who is responsible for the extremely cool cover art?

L.: "Never Cross The Dead" cover art is Putrid's drawing with Adam Geyer's coloring. We have been working with Putrid since the very beginning. He drew our logo and the cover art for "Fulfill The Curse". This time we wanted to have a colored art and I'm telling you the result topped my highest hopes! I'd like to hook them up for a collaboration for our next album as well.
Dr.D.: What is going on with the other project you are involved: Acid Witch. I’ve heard that you left the band before the release of Stoned. The vocals are almost identical to yours but you are nowhere referred on the album. If this is true can you explain the reasons?

L.: I quit the band after "Witch house" 7"EP because I wanted to focus on my own bands. After all Acid Witch is Dave's brainchild and he writes all the music. I was "just" a singer but eventually I got a bit tired of doing it. They also wanted to play gigs and that would've been impossible with me living on this side of Atlantic. I don't think the vocals on their new album sound identical to mine. Dave sounds great on "Stoned"! They don't need me.

Dr.D.: A lot of people have been comparing Acid Witch and Hooded Menace. What do you think is the main similarity with Acid Witch and what is the main difference between the two bands?

L.: People should listen to music instead of reading about it! If I was never in Acid Witch not many would compare us. This constant comparison is ridiculous because the bands do not sound alike. We have worked with same artists, labels, and lyricists and of course you can put the both under horror death/doom label but that's where the similarities end. Acid Witch is more rocking and trippy... more inspired by Witchfinder General and such when Hooded Menace is darker stuff in the vein of the first Cathedral album, Asphyx, first two Paradise Lost albums etc. The keyboards play a big role in Acid Witch, Hooded Menace don't use keys at all. Yeah, we have a lot in common, it's just mostly other things but music. But oh well, who cares... eventually it'll be good for both bands because wherever one is mentioned the other will be too, haha!

Dr.D.: There were plans for a split with the legendary band Asphyx within 2010! What happened to that release? Will this include the talents of the newer band members?

L.: Actually this is finally coming together for real. All we need now is the cover art basically. Putrid is already working on the sketches. It will be an early 2011 release. Expect nothing but a top notch Doomentia quality and crushing death/doom from both bands! We recorded our song "Abode Of The Grotesque" in the recording sessions of "Never Cross The Dead" in late 2009 so our line up for this split is just me and Pekka. Needless to say I'm utterly stoked about this release! Such an honor to share a wax with a band that you are heavily influenced by.

Dr.D.: You have been a member to a large number of Finish death metal bands. What is the status with these projects right now? Do you consider Hooded Menace as your “main” project?

L.: Hooded Menace is my priority. There's nothing planned for Claws, Phlegethon or Vacant Coffin which is on hold. Well actually there's a Phlegethon DVD now scheduled for 2011 on Doomentia and an exclusive Claws track will appear on Relapse's 7" Death Metal Series. Looks like Cyclone Empire will be putting those 7 inches out tho. Time will tell if Rogga and I will record any new stuff with Swarming in 2011. It's just something we do when we don't have anything else to do and when we feel like it. I have a new project with Dopi from Machetazo. It's so fresh thing that we don't even have a name for the band yet but musically it'll be something like Amebix meets Voivod meets Axegrinder meets Godflesh. Maybe we will have a 7" out in 2011 or something. Let's see how it proceeds. Both of us have been wanting to play something like this for a long time so we are very excited about this collaboration. Dopi is an excellent, tight drummer and a great guy who knows his shoit. I think this will turn out to something very cool.
Dr.D.: Finland has a very heavy death metal heritage. Do you follow the contemporary scene? Are there any bands you spotted worth mentioning? I was also wondering how is the doom metal scene in Finland?

L.: I follow it a bit. Just ordered the new Horse Latitudes album. Judging from a couple of tracks I've heard the band sounds awesome. Somekind of sludge/doom with two basses, vocals and drums. Cannot wait to hear the whole album. There are pretty good doom bands in Finland. More and more bands are emerging. I don't know if it's a phenomenon already but surely there is a good buzz going on. Of course everyone knows Reverend Bizarre (r.i.p.) that have been an inspiration to many of these younger acts. Newer doom bands like The Wandering Midget, Caskets Open and are worth mentioning. I also like quite a lot The Puritan which is a bit more experimental stuff but just damn heavy. What comes to death metal we have Krypts, Stench Of Decay, Vorum, Ascended... Lots of excellent metal coming out from our small country. It's great!

Dr.D.: This year you are going to perform in Roadburn festival! Do you feel more “recognized” now that you perform in major festivals? Are there any plans for a more extensive European tour?

L.: Yeah, being invited to Roadburn as well as Maryland Deathfest is very nice. It feels good to be recognized as I'm very satisfied and proud of the music I've been doing with Hooded Menace. So getting all these invitations feels justified so to speak. We don't have any plans for a more extensive European or US tour as we have busy people in this band. Half of us are studying and everyone has other bands too so it'd be hard to find time for touring. Besides I don't even want to play live too often. A few shows in a year sounds good enough. I'm more into the creative side.

Dr.D.: What are the impressions so far from your lives? I always thought that Hooded Menace was more like a studio band.

L.: It's okay. I'm not crazy for playing live but it's okay. I know we'd sound a lot better with two guitars so our live sound is more or less a compromise. It's quite stripped down performance. Some like it a lot, some not that much. Running a four-piece band is complicated enough so finding a second guitarist is out of the question at least for now. The audiences we have played at have been pretty good so far. Maybe the crowd at Live Evil Fest in London being the most enthusiastic so far.

Dr.D.: You started as a death metal Candlemass cover band! Now, I am really curious on how this sounds! Should we expect a Candlemass cover on an upcoming release? What is the plan for 2011?

L.: Playing Candlemass with death metal vocals is kind of an old habit to me. My old band Phlegethon used to play Candlemass songs in late 80's/early 90's. We even recorded "Tales Of Creation" in the recording sessions of our first demo "Visio Dei Beatifica" in '89 but the track was never mixed because we couldn't finish the vocal track. The song sounded too absurd and hilarous with Teemu and me trying to do a death metal duet on it and the vocal sessions just turned into a big laughter. As much as I love Candlemass it wouldn't be the most interesting choice for Hooded Menace to record. It's fun to play tho.
Like I mentioned we are going to record songs for two split 7" EP´s in 2011. We will do a couple of shows that I cannot reveal yet. Well, you know about MDF and Roadburn already. Gotta write more new songs and hopefully we can start recording the 3rd album sometime late 2011.

Dr.D.: At this point I would like to thank you for taking time for this interview! If you have something to say be my guest!

L.: Thanks for the interview and your support! Everyone take care!
Interview By Dr.Doom Metal - Dr.Doom's Lair
Hooded Menace @ MySpace

Sowing The Seeds Of Doom With A New Header.....Thanks Justin !


Please everyone give thanks to Justin of DOOMSOWER for the new Doommantia header you see above, this will be the header for 2011. Justin is the mad axeman behind the Doom-Metal powerhouse that is DOOMSOWER who have new tracks up on their DOOMSOWER MY SPACE PAGE so go check out the killer riffage. They will also be releasing their full length debut very soon and that will be one of the highlights of 2011 and I will keep you all updated on that. You can check out Justin's Flickr page for more great artwork and I will give you all a contact email so you can reach Justin and Doomsower directly. All hail  DOOMSOWER and JUSTIN for his fine works of doom.

Justin @ Flickr
Email Justin @

Half A Million Strong.........Well Sort Of !

Last night Doommantia pass the half-million hit mark, not bad for a site that only got 500 hits in its first 3 months. Of course a lot of these hits are not unique hits, some would come from image searches but still it is overwhelming to think how far this website has come in little over two years. Thanks to all of you for reading and putting up with my ramblings and extra thanks to Sandrijn, Mari, Aleks and the newer members to the Doommantia team, Adam and Dr.Doom Metal for keeping this site alive and moving forward. 2011 will see at least 3 more writers joining the team so expect to see even more reviews and interviews. Thank you, over and out..........for now ~ Ed

* EDIT * The site got 59,222 views for the month of December, another record slighty beating the previous monthly record.

Dec 29, 2010

Hypnos 69 - Legacy

Alright, I admit I was pretty slow at picking up on this album titled "Legacy" by Hypnos 69 and if you are wondering why this album didn't get picked in my top albums of 2010 list, it was a case of wondering if it even fits into the concept of this site for one and the other thing is, it has been really only the last few days that the album has really grabbed my attention but I am still not totally sold on it. Given its authentic 70's psychedelic vibe, I have decided to review it after all. This album has been getting rave reviews since its release about 6 months ago and the reaction has been a bit surprising to me to be honest, this is really good but I am not too sure it deserves as much praise as its been getting. Nevertheless, if you are a psychedelic, 70's prog rock guru then this is one of the albums of the year within that genre. The rollercoaster of a ride this album takes you on is exhausting stuff as this is about as musically diverse as you can get from a band of 70's rock-worshipping freaks like this Belgian band. Musically they take their cues from bands as diverse as Deep Purple, King Crimson, Jethro Tull, Camel, Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath but they also add a jazz-fusion element here and there to make this album an emotional trip that is a mesmerizing experience to listen to but if you are like me, you must be in the mood first. We are talking incredible musicianship here along with an advanced level of arrangement know-how but that is just the icing on the cake, the songs themselves are also mostly strangely infectious considering the album starts and ends with two monster epics. Even more remarkable is when the band released "The Eclectic Measure" in 2006, many thought there was no way they could top it but they have and in a big way in my opinion.

The opening track "Requiem (for a Dying Creed)" is such a rich and varied musical journey that it is an album in itself and there is times I turn the album off after this piece, not because I don't like it but because the staggering level of twists in the song is enough to take in for just one sitting. This opening piece explodes in waves of glorious Hammond organ passages and diverse guitar work that ignores the generic riffing approach of most bands. Fans of King Crimson would know all about Robert Fripp's eclectic guitar runs and leads and you hear the same kind-of-thing here with Hypnos 69 guitarist, Steve Houtmeyers. The Hammond organ is like Deep Purple at their peak but the vocals also have a distinct Ian Gillan quality about them so we are talking classic rock here folks. Considering "Requiem (for a Dying Creed)" is over 18 minutes long, it flows really smoothly as it runs the gamut from chaotic passages to mellow, reflective moments as in the section that comes in 5 or so minutes into the track. About 8 minutes in, there is a freaked out prog-jazz section but here comes the bit that might throw off some of your more traditional listeners. While most bands use guitar as their lead-instrument, Hypnos 69 do it a lot with brass, woodwinds, theremin and sometimes even sax, again the King Crimson influence is a major key in the direction of this band. It is not all prog-rock self-indulgence though, you still get some brutal booming bass to go along with the heavy psychedelia and there is much in the way of catchy grooves. As you can see with the amount of words I have used just to describe one track, this track is mammoth and I still have only just scratched the surface.

If the first track hasn't completely knocked you in the dirt, the second track "An Aerial Architect" will. Opening with a heavy dose of saxophone to play along with one of the few Sabbathian riffs on the album, this is sheer intensity in its opening minutes. You could compare this with Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man" in the way the sax/guitar combination is so intricate and precise, as Jack Black said in the recent Rush doco, "right on the nuggets." The song gets a little mellow halfway through when synths enter the picture and then it builds to an aggressive ending section. "My Journey to the Stars" has the most infectious groove on the album but it also includes some wonderful laid-back vocal melodies. Compared to the opening tracks, this one seems a bit under-done and a tad too mellow in parts for me, some more intense prog rock would have suited me more at this stage of the album but it still serves as a fine interlude. You have to take note of the mesmerizing lead-breaks in the song which are a creepy kind of blues similar to some of Floyd's Dave Gilmour early works, understated but hypnotic. The second half of the track blows away its first half as the tune takes off into cosmic flight with psychedelic energy and Jethro Tull fans - take note of the flute playing as it is some of the best flute-work I have heard since Ian Anderson gave up standing on one leg. "The Sad Destiny We Lament" follows with more infectious melodies but it is again mellow (for the first part of the song anyway) and I tend to get a little restless around this point in the album. The softly strumming acoustics and waves of synths always fail to hold my attention. Luckily my attention is restored with "The Empty Hourglass" which brings back the classic Hammond organ pulsating along-side some pounding bass-lines. There is a lot of reverb and even more sax so if you find the sound of the sax headache-inducing, beware!
"The Empty Hourglass" sounds more like a jam than the rest of the songs with a looser structure overall but the 11 minutes of this is nothing short of pure adrenalin rush and it is one of the albums heavier moments. "Jerusalem" is up next and it is more based around the vocals of Houtmeyers, it is a softer piece but very enchanting but is overshadowed by what comes on next, the second monster epic of the album, "The Great Work." Trying to describe this track in any sort of detail would require me to write something closer to a full-length novel than a normal review as this track has it all and more but it is dreadfully drawn-out and quite frankly, tedious to sit through. While the opening track flows, this one loses me just 5 minutes in and then you still have 15 more minutes of complex musical structure that moves from prog to jazz to everything in-between. Thankfully the band are so mind-blowing as musicians, otherwise this would be a disaster. Also, if you have sat through the previous 55 minutes, getting through this is challenge. So are you up to the challenge with this album, I can't see doom and stoner metal fans getting too excited about this album although it does have some sludge meets psychedelic passages. This is prog-rock for the prog-rock fan and no one else really but it is mostly jaw-dropping musicianship that is on display throughout the album and that is what gives it its strength. Here is a quote from Rock-Metal Reviews that sums up the situation - "Legacy is a pure progressive rock duck rather than a stoner rock swan: it changes time signatures like a duck, it presents songs in several movements like a duck, it relies on complex instrumental interplay like a duck, it’s impressively produced (by the drummer) like a duck and, lyrically, it heads for the fantasy landscapes and generalized motifs of a duck. Hence, it’s a progressive rock duck."

There seems to be a rumor circulating that this may be the last album for Hypnos 69, if that is the case then the band has gone out on the ultimate high-note. This is the sound of the band at their peak and even if I find the last track on the album boring and some of musical complexities just a bit pompous, this is still way beyond anything else I have heard within the prog-rock realm in the last year. I must also point out one minor problem as I hear it and that is the production, it is very much in the 70's mold. Normally that would be a bonus in my view but in case of an album like this that is so grandiose, I feel a more modern production job would have been better. It took me over 6 months to fully appreciate "Legacy's" greatness and I still listen to a lot of prog from King Crimson, E.L.P, Tull, Yes to the likes of Porcupine Tree and Spocks Beard but I had to dig deep to find gold in this album but once I did, I was very impressed....Ask for it by name prog-rockers......7.5/10
Hypnos 69 @ Myspace
Elektrohasch Records

Doom All Over The World - New Comp From Game Two Records

This isn't a review because this great 2CD compilation doesn't need one, the music speaks for itself. If you are new to the Doom Metal genre or just like listening to compilations, it is hard to go past this one. The compilation features exclusive material from Burn Heavy, Cold Mourning, Deer Creek and Smaug (USA), Mose (Belgium), Pylon (Switzerland) and it is extra pleasing to see one of the most underrated bands on the planet, Mr. Peter Hayden (Finland) get a track on here with a tune called Majestic. Released on Game Two Records, this is a beautifully packaged 2CD set with exclusive cover artwork by Paul Vismara. A good friend let me borrow this and it hasn't left the player over the last few days......Awesome.

Track Listing
Disc One
Artist / Title / Time
Deer Creek ~ Panic 7:29
Mose ~ The Levee Will Break 4:30
Pylon ~ Ride The Pale Horse 6:08
Mr. Peter Hayden ~ Majestic 5 8:03
Smaug ~ When Charon Comes 5:19
Burn Heavy ~ Motivator 12:10

Disc Two
Artist / Title / Time
Cold Mourning ~ Driven To Reason 7:08
Mr. Peter Hayden ~ Hitari 11:36
Mose ~ How To Kill A Pig 6:11
Burn Heavy ~ Situations 7:41
Smaug ~ Nothing Is Forever 6:14
Pylon ~ Cannibal Coronal Mass Ejection (Vocal Version) 3:14
Deer Creek ~ It Had Neither Fins Nor Wings 13:32

Mailorder - $10 US / $13 World

Other Game Two releases still available:
RawRadarWar/Deer Creek Split CD
Sixty Watt Shaman: Ultra Electric CD
V/A: Tungt Svenskt 2 x 7” (Generous Maria, Mushroom River Band, Rise & Shine, Space Probe Taurus)
Space Probe Taurus: Insect City 7”
John Merrick: Simpaticopacetic 7”

Over and out,

Game Two Records
7886 East Kettle Avenue
Centennial, CO 80111
United States of America
Deer Creek @ Myspace

Occult Dooooom Glancing From The Crypt …

Here is an official video from one of my top fave obscure occult horror doom bands, Abysmal Grief.
I still have my guts trembling from their distorted guitars during their impressive Halloween concert almost two months ago, one of the rare concerts this gloomy band played in general.
This is their official video for the track Crypt Of Horror, from their latest album Misfortune (2009).
Well, sort of.....

*Lovingly stolen from the Sludge Swamp
Originally posted by the wonderful Mari

Abysmal Grief Official Web Site

Dec 28, 2010

Blue Aside - The Orange Tree

Blue Aside's "The Orange Tree" with what looks like a red tree on the cover or maybe I am color-blind is an album that is immediately interesting from the very spin because of the way their influences are blended into a seamless package all of their own. While mixing psychedelic space rock with doom metal is nothing new, the band have a sound that suggests they are carving out their own little niche in the scene. Blue Aside is a trio including ex-members of Palace in Thunderland who later turned into the great Black Pyramid but you would never know they are just a trio judging by the sound they create on this EP. But it is just not the sounds, it is also the concepts that set this band apart from other bands. They are a self-described "concept band" and the concept behind "The Orange Tree" is described as "a tale of loss and woe, but also of hope and redemption." The story told in the lyrics is about Earth's working population being forced to live underground while the rich stay protected from the Sun's deadly radiation by the orange tree above ground. Maybe this is the bands look into the future for this slowly rotting planet or maybe it is an allegory on the current state of rich versus poor in our society. Whatever take you have on the lyrics, it is a well thought-out piece and it is great to hear a band taking on the concept album approach which by the way is well over 30 minutes long so it is closer to a full-length album than a EP.

The opening "The Traveler of Time and Space" kicks off with a psychedelic doom-riff but before you get into a familiar state of a doom-metal vibe, the track quickly zig-zags in different directions from death-metal elements to space-rock to traditional doom. Layered guitar sounds and contrasting vocal styles make the band sound way bigger than just a three-piece and at times it sounds like Sons Of Otis jamming with Pink Floyd so musically this is about as diverse as you can get within this kind of musical genre. There is much swirling psychedelia coming from the guitars but there is also heavy doses of bottom-end that push the song sonically. When the first track melts its way into the second track, "Otis Sun" you are on a cosmic journey with a soundtrack unlike anything I have heard in the past few years. "Otis Sun" which is obviously a nod to Sons Of Otis perfectly sums up what Blue Aside are all about and that is the seamless mixing of styles. This track which blends influences of Saint Vitus, Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, Sons Of Otis and even Hendrix flies in the face of what the traditional music fan thinks can be done, if you think you can't blend all these styles and make them work, then you better listen to "Blue Aside." "Otis Sun" has everything from sludge-filled riffing to wild, drugged out psychedelic guitar passages and the vocals again range from death-growls to smooth harmonies without it sounding out-of-place. Guitarist Adam Abrams shines throughout the EP with impressive solo work and killer riffs, the drumming of Matt Netto is total perfection proving he can play anything with ease and the bass playing of Joe Twomey is solid and full of bottom-ended goodness.

"Orange Eyes" is the most conventional track on the EP as for the most part it is pretty straight-forward doom-stoner groove but at over 9 minutes long, there is still twists along the way to make it different from any other band. The musical depth they display by adding acoustic guitar to run along-side the electric Sabbathian riffing shows how advanced they are as composers as well as players. The soloing is again a feature within the song and the mix of an infectious chorus with haunting melodies is excellent. Next track up is "Black Rays" and it takes a turn into a much darker place musically speaking. It combines pummeling metallic crunch with some tasty psychedelic doom chugging and it stands out as one of the highlights of the EP. The intriguing part of this tune is the strange time signatures they use and get away with so effortlessly, most of other bands would make a "pigs-breakfast" of such a situation but Blue Aside seem to have no problem with these diverse ideas. The last track, "The Inevitable Journey" is another lengthy track merging psychedelic doom with a slight grunge-rock vibe especially in the later part of the song. Starting off very heavy, like all their songs it twists and turns with impressive guitar work, mesmerizing vocal harmonies and a vibe that reminded me of Yob at their best. When this is all over and done with, it is a captivating experience that is totally diverse. Think of bands like Sleep, Yob, Sons Of Otis, Saint Vitus and put them in the same room as Captain Beyond, Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Hawkwind and Rush and you have a unique collection of sounds and that is what you get with "The Orange Tree." I would have gladly given this a "10" rating if it wasn't just for one problem and that is the production, it just isn't too great. Music of this magnitude cries out for a massive production job but this sounds a little flat, it is a bummer but even turned up loud though Bose Headphones, the weaknesses are there. However the songs rule and musically, songwriting wise and in concept, this album is one of the best albums I have heard all year. Pity I didn't listen to it more before doing my top album list for 2010, this album would have been there, no question.

Highly progressive, psychedelic and still very heavy, this album has it all and I highly recommend you do yourself a favor and pick this one up, it is a monumental release.................9/10
Blue Aside Myspace

Keepers of the Secret Lore - Interview with The Flight of Sleipnir

Here is an excellent post of an interview with David Csicsely of The Flight Of Sleipnir done by DR.DOOM of Dr. Doom's Lair. The Flight of Sleipnir was formed in the winter of 2007 by David Csicsely (Acheronian Dirge, Nexhymn, ex-Throcult) and Clayton Cushman (Acheronian Dirge, ex-Throcult). The project stemmed from a desire to explore ethereal and progressive sounds with lyrics that explore the rich literature of ancient Scandinavia. Keeping elements of their other projects and building a foundation upon doom and vintage metal, they released the demo "Wisdom Calls For Sacrifice" in 2008. After the release, a debut live appearance took place on the winter's solstice, which has since become an annual occasion. Immediately after the performance, the duo started forging their debut album "Algiz + Berkanan," a concept record exploring the secrets of the aforementioned runes which has since then been officially released on No Colours Records.(Metal Archives) The latest album titled "Lore" was released in March of 2010 to critical acclaim. Thanks again to Dr.Doom and David Csicsely for putting this together and once again, visit Dr. Doom's Lair.

Sleip?nir -(slâp'nir) Odin's eight-legged steed, and the greatest of all horses. The off spring of Loki and the gray stallion Svadilfari, Sleipnir, the swiftest on the earth could bear Odin over sea, through the air, and to and from the land of the dead.

Dr.D.: Hello, David! Thanks for this interview. I‘ve read many reviews about Lore and most of them describe it as a “hidden gem”. Did you expect this kind of success, are you satisfied with the result in Lore?
DC- We were pleasantly surprised with all the positive feed back we received for the album. We couldn’t be happier with how LORE turned out and are grateful so many others feel the same.

Dr.D.: Before we proceed with this interview can you introduce yourselves and give us a few details about TFoS history?
DC- Well, Clay and I started the band in 2008 as a side project. Since we both worked well together musically in our previous bands, we decided to do something different where we could experiment musically and explore our interest in Scandinavian literature. We’ve released a demo, an EP, and two full lengths since then and now have made TFOS our full time band.

Dr.D.: So far all TFoS releases have a very sweet old-fashioned sound. The production in Lore maintains the strong 70’s feeling. Do you use vintage equipment? Where did the recordings take place and who is responsible for the production?
DC- All the recordings were done by Clay in our recording studio at my home. Clay has a good grasp of how a recording should sound, in my opinion, clear but not overproduced and polished. As far as any equipment we use, it’s mostly modern. The overall sound lies within Clay’s production of the albums.

Dr.D.: Lore combines black metal vocals with psyched-out vocals, mixes folk elements with doom/stoner elements, also I’ve read one review where the reviewer recognized some jazz influences on the drums! That’s quite an unusual blend! How diverse is your musical background as a band? What do you listen on your free time?
DC- Between the two of us we have a lot of different musical tastes. Our backgrounds musically I think (like most people) coincide with what our influences are or have been past and present. What I listen to on my free time usually depends on what I’m in the mood for. I’m all for listening to something interesting whether it’s metal or not.

Dr.D.: Sleipnir is the mythical horse of Odin. You don’t see many U.S. bands exploring Scandinavian legends nowadays! How did you get involved in Scandinavian mythology in the first place?
DC- It’s hard to say where my interest for Scandinavian mythology came from since it was brought to my attention from several places. I think I mainly got into it after doing some research on the subject when I was a lot younger which then stemmed a great appreciation for it.

Dr.D.: Most epic heavy metal bands prefer a “Hail war and battles” approach, while TFoS lyrics seem more poetic. Do you put a lot of attention in your lyrics?
DC- We definitely like to put as much time as we can in to our lyrics. Since the “Viking” styled theme has been done to death we wanted to take a different approach and focus on the aspects of the mythology and history most bands don’t bother writing about. The literature is rich so we think a more poetic approach is necessary in order to do it justice.

Dr.D.: Do you agree with the opinion that bands that adopt an “epic” theme on their lyrics run the risk of getting trapped? Did you ever felt limited when you wanted to express ideas that perhaps don’t fit with the “epic” profile?
DC- I agree, it seems there are plenty of bands with our similar theme that don’t try to explore it lyrically and therefore pigeon hole themselves into repeating their themes over and over again. Concerning TFOS, we’ve never felt limited lyrically because we never set out to be an “epic” band.

Dr.D.: Algiz + Berkanan was based on a concept story. Maybe it’s because of my limited knowledge of the Scandinavian literature that I wasn’t quite able to follow it. Can you say a few words about it? Is Lore based on a concept also?
DC- The album is lyrically based off the two runes “Algiz” and “Berkanan”. It is basically split in to two parts, the first being “Algiz” which is the first song on the record, and then the second part “Berkanan”, which consists of the last four songs. There really isn’t a story, so to speak, it’s just our interpretation of the symbolism behind the runes.

Dr.D.: The cover art on Algiz+Berkanan, Winter Solstice II and Lore seems to be from the same artist! And it’s quite impressive I must add. Who is responsible for the artwork?
DC- Actually, I’m the one responsible for all the art work for TFOS. It basically works out to where Clay is in charge of the recording aspect of the band and I am in charge of all the art work and layout. We have every aspect of the band pretty much taken care of between the two of us.
Dr.D.: There is a split scheduled for release within 2011 with Apostole of Solitude. Also, you have almost finished recordings of the new album. Any ideas about the release date? Is there something you can share about the two releases? Shall we expect any surprises?
DC- Yes, we will be on a 3-way split with Apostle of Solitude (USA) and Rituals of the oak (AU). We’ve also finished recording the new album and both releases are slated with a release date in April – May 2011 through Eyes Like Snow. Both will be released on a digi and vinyl format with limited colored vinyl and a poster.

Dr.D.: Do you have any plans to release Lore in vinyl? Will it contain any extra material?
DC- LORE is actually being re-released on vinyl in February 2011. There won’t be any added material; however, it will contain a poster with new artwork exclusively for the release. It will also be out on red colored vinyl (limited to 150 copies) and Black vinyl (Limited to 350 copies).

Dr.D.: As far as I know you don’t give too many shows outside Denver. Any plans for more extensive touring? Can we possibly hope for a European tour any time soon?
DC- As of right now, we are planning a few select shows out of state but nothing a long the lines of a full scale tour. We definitely would like to do some shows in Europe sometime in the future, but as it can be rather expensive, it isn’t a possibility at the moment.

Dr.D.: In your shows you hire extra musicians for the positions of bass and guitar. Why do you prefer to stay as a duo in studio and have multiple duties?
DC- We prefer to stay as a two piece in the studio because it is much easier to maintain a common vision in regards to our music. We find that we are more efficient when it is just the two of us writing, recording, and making decisions. We really wouldn’t have it any other way.

Dr.D.: What do you believe TFoS has offered you and what has taken away from you? Are you happy with the course of TFoS so far?
DC- TFOS has basically given me an outlet for musical expression and, for that, I am very happy with the band’s direction. Everything is going well for the band and I appreciate all the interest we’ve received.

Dr.D.: Before we close let me thank you again for this interview. The epilogue is yours!
Many thanks and may your glass stay full!
-David Csicsely

The Flight of Sleipnir
Interview By Dr.Doom - Dr. Doom's Lair.

Dec 27, 2010

The Doommantia Writing Team Picks The Best Of The Best For 2010

Here is the writers picks for their favorite albums of 2010. Thanks must go out to them for all their hard work in the past year, now we look forward to 2011.....DOOM ON....

* Sandrijn van den Oever ( In Random Order ) *

- Hour Or 13 - The Ritualist

- Sabbath Assembly - Restored To One

- Ghost - Opus Eponymous

- Electric Wizard - Black Masses

- High On Fire - Snakes For The Divine

- Robert Plant - Band Of Joy

- Bruce Springsteen - The Promise

- The Roots - How I Got Over

- Striker - Eyes In The Night

- White Wizzard - Over The Top

* Marilena Moroni aka Mari *

Doom and sludge:

Electric Wizard - Black masses
Hooded Priest - Devil Worship Reckoning
Elliotts' Keep - sine Qua Non
Iron Void - Spell of Ruin
The Wounded Kings - The shadow over Atlantis
Abysmal Grief - Misfortune
Centurion's Ghost - Blessed & Cursed In Equal Measure
Cathedral - The Guessing Game
Nomad Son - The Eternal Return
Olde Growth – Olde Growth
Furze - Reaper Subconscious Guide
Seamount - Sacrifice
Pombagira - Baron Citadel
Borngripper - Satan Worshipping Doom
Haarp - The Filth
Lair Of The Minotaur - Evil Power
Ramesses - Take The curse
Suma - Ashes
Cough - Ritual Abuse
Dopefight - Buds

     Ladies singing:

Jucifer- Throned in Blood
Bibilic Blood - Pale Face Destroyer
Wooden Stake - Vampire Plague Exorcism
Sabbath Assembly - Restore to one
Purple Rhinestone Eagle - The Great Return
Alunah - Call Of Avernus
(I would also add Rose Kemp, but I still have to listen to it properly).

Black (various shades):

Tryptikon - Episterara Daimones
Enslaved - Axioma Ethica Odini
Agalloch - Marrow of the Spirit
Ludicra - The Tenant
The Twilight - Monument To Time End
Borknagar - Universal
The Howling Wind - Into The Cryosphere
Castevet - Mounds of Ash
Deathspell Omega - Paracletus
Krieg - The Isolationist
Diocletian - War Of All Against All
Profanatica - Disgusting Blasphemies Against God
Darkthrone - Circle The Wagon
Darvulia - Mysticisme Macabre

Psych stoner etc.

Blaak Heat Shujaa - s/t
Black Angel - Phosphene Dream
Brutus - s/t
Sungrazer - s/t
Black Bombaim - Saturdays and Space travels
sHeavy - Disfigurine
Kings Of the Frog Island - III
Samsara Blues Experiment - Long distance Trips
Fatso Jetson - Archaic Volumes
Oresund Space Collective - Dead Man In Space

Death-doom, thrash, grindcore, crust ...

Coffinworm - When All Became None
Hooded Menace - Never Cross the Dead
Lair Of The Minotaur - Evil Power
Nominon - Monumentomb
The Secret - Solve et coagula
Father Befouled - - Morbid Destitution Of Covenant
Encoffination - Ritual Ascensione Beyond Flesh
Deathhammer - Phantom Knights
Scaremaker - What Evil Have They Summoned
Dishammer - Under the sign of the d-beat mark
Black Breath - Heavy Breathing
Circle of the Dead Children - Psalms of the Grand Destroyer
Inquisition - - Ominous Doctrines Of The Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm
Nails - Unsilent Death
Okkultokrati - No Light For Mass
Bastard Priest - Under The Hammer Of Destruction
Inepsy - Madness And Overkill
Nocturnal Blood - Devastated Graves - The Morbid Celebration

* Ed - ( In Random Order ) *

1. Centurions Ghost - Blessed And Cursed In Equal Measure
2. When The Deadbolt Breaks - The Last Day Of The Sun
3. The Wounded Kings - Shadows Over Atlantis
4. While Heaven Wept - Vast Oceans Lachrymose
5. Orchid - Through The Devils Doorway -
6. Ufomammut - Eve
7. Stonehelm - S/T
8. High On Fire - Snakes For The Divine
9. Sardonis
10. Brigantia - The Chronic Argonauts
11. Hour Of 13 - The Ritualist
12. Triptykon - Eparistera Daimones
13. Serpent Venom - Promo / EP
14. Union Of Sleep - S/T
15. Conan - Horseback Battle Hammer
16. Ramesses - Take The Curse
17. The Mourning Dimension - Has Opened
18. Briton Rites - For Mircalla
19. Age Of Taurus - In The Days Of The Taurean Empire
20. Hooded Menace - Never Cross The Dead
21. Witchsorrow - S/T
22. Spirit Descent - Doominon
23. The Howling Void - Shadows Of The Cosmos
24. Abysmal Grief- Misfortune
25. Fangtooth - S/T
26. Bongripper - Satan Worshipping Doom
27. Nomad Son - The Eternal Return
28. Cough - Ritual Abuse
29. Dopefight - Buds
30. Procession - Destroyers Of The Faith
31. Noctum - The Seance
32. Sheavy - Disfigurine
33. Electric Wizard - Black Masses
34. Groan - The Sleeping Wizard
35. Elliotts Keep - Sine Qua Non
36. Alunah - Call Of Avernus
37. Seamount - Sacrifice
38. Amarok - S/T
39. Under The Sun - Man Of Sorrow
40. Dimentianon - Collapse The Void
41. Earthride - Something Wicked
42. Abysmal Grief - Misfortune
43. Hooded Priest - Devil Worship Reckoning
44. Cathedral - The Guessing Game
45. Kylesa - Spiral Shadow
46. Wooden Stake - Vampire Plague Exorcism

Special Mentions -
1. Hollow Leg - Instinct
2. Black Pyramid / Old One - Split 12 "
3. Solace - A.D
4. Iron Void - Spell Of Ruin
5. Hesper Payne - Unclean Rituals
6. Frality - Silence Is Everything
7. Roareth - Acts I - VI
8. Widows - Rasie The Monolith
9. Las Cruces - Dusk
10. WIHT - S/T
11. Asteriod - II
12. Space Mirrors - Majestic 12: A Hidden Presence
13. Kongh - Shadows Of The Shapeless
14. Shadow Of The Torturer - Marching Into Chaos
15. Bretus - S/T
16. Devil To Pay - Heavily Ever After
17. Zoroaster - Matador
18. Acid Witch - Stoned
19. Olde Growth - S/T
20. Pombagira - Baron Citadel
21. Project Armageddon - Departure
22. Ophis - Withered Shades
23. Black Sleep of Kali - Our Slow Decay

The 2010 Doommantia Readers Poll ~ And The Winner Is ...............

Thanks to everyone who took part in the 2010 Readers Poll here at Doommantia, we had over 150 people put in their votes here in comments, on the forum and via email and I now I bring you the results with the top 20 so don't blame me if you don't like the list as you voted for them. There was many albums that got one or two votes but in order to stop from making the list go on forever I have narrowed it down to the top 20 for you.

2.  Bongripper - Satan Worshipping Doom 18 Votes
3.  The Wounded Kings - Shadows Over Atlantis 17 Votes
4.  Hour Of 13 - The Ritualist 16 Votes
5.  Triptykon - Eparistera Daimones 16 Votes
6.  Cough - Ritual Abuse 15 Votes
7.  High On Fire - Snakes For The Divine 14 Votes
8.  Orchid - Through The Devils Doorway 12 Votes
9.  Zoroaster - Matador 12 Votes
10. Pombagira - Baron Citadel 11 Votes
11. Earthride - Something Wicked 11 Votes
12. Procession - Destroyers Of The Faith 10 Votes
13. Seamount - Sacrifice 10 Votes
14. Abysmal Grief- Misfortune 10 Votes
15. Ufomammut - Eve 10 Votes
16. Dopefight - Buds 10 Votes
17. Hooded Menace - Never Cross The Dead 9 Votes
18. Elliotts Keep - Sine Qua Non 9 Votes
19. Witchsorrow - S/T 8 Votes
20. Cathedral - The Guessing Game 8 Votes

*edit* - sorry I made a mistake with the Electric Wizard votes, it has been corrected now.

Dec 26, 2010

Various Artists - Yogsothery: Chaosmogonic Rituals Of Fear

When it comes to extreme strangeness in music, this 77 minute, 4 track compilation has to be one of the most bizarre I have ever come across. Titled "Yogsothery: Chaosmogonic Rituals Of Fear" it has only 4 bands but all deliver extreme pieces of diverse music, some of which might make the more tepid listener climb the walls. Voidhanger Recordings bring together three Finnish bands and one Italian band in this tribute to the works of Howard Philip Lovecraft who if it wasn't for him, a lot of bands would be stuck for things to write about especially in the doom-metal genre. The album is beautifully packaged and presented with a 20 page booklet so you can tell some time has been spent putting this together. Musically it is mixed bag and one that has plenty of highs but also many moments that had me, wishing it was all over.

It opens with "Jääportit", which translated means "The Frost Portals",  they are a duo formed by Tuomas M. Mäkelä (keyboards and all music) and Mindy M. Heinonen (violin, voice) from Oulu, Finland. They play an experimental kind of atmospheric electronica and this track titled "Kuihtuman Henkivi" is 25 minutes long and getting through this one will test your patience. On the plus side, there is a lot going on this track from serene ambiance moments to passages of sheer horror. Based around the use of synthesizer, this track takes you on a cosmic journey that is relaxing and soothing one minute only to get very ugly the nice. The length of the track is the killer but a good 15 minutes of this is mesmerizing material but by the end of it, you may not be in the mood for the rest of whats in store and believe me, it just gets even weirder. "Umbra Nihil" is up next and compared with "Jääportit" seems much more restrained musically but they still have that element of cosmic strangeness about them. Their tune (?) titled "Suur-Nikkurin Virsi" is a 10 minute depressive yet hypnotic instrumental that is easy listening compared with this albums opening 25 minute piece. The main highlight of this track is the instrumental electronic freakout jam section but there is also an atmospheric, chilling quality to this track that is mesmerizing. The song is bizarre but given the overall weirdness of this 4 track collection it is the most accessible track on the album.

"Aarni" follows with "Lovecraft Knew" and some of you would already know that "Aarni" is one of the strangest bands on the planet and this track does nothing to change that status. This is a heavy, space-trip with sounds that are like something out of an old 1970's sci-fi TV show, anybody remember those old Dr.Who episodes from the 70's ? Heavily psychedelic with elements of jazz-fusion, this track will piss off your neighbors and family members so be warned, this is not for the traditional music fan. If the opening 25 track from "Jääportit" was too much for you, then the closing, almost 30 minute "Resurgent Atavism" from Caput LVIIIm will surely push you to the breaking point of your sanity. This is one of the most ambitious tracks I have heard all year that ranges from droning soundscapes to funeral doom that is blackened, esoteric and desolate. This is the best track on the compilation in my view and is worth the purchase price alone. While there is some unneeded padding to the track, the piece flows remarkably well despite being so long. The overwhelming darkness of the track might be too much to take at first and you may want to listen to this track on its own and save the other 3 tracks for another sitting.

This ambitious compilation has been put together very thoughtfully from the production to the packaging and the choice of bands is excellent in the way that each band seems to compliment each other. The two very long tracks that book-end the album do tend to overshadow the two shorter pieces and that is the only problem that I found with this but it is a major problem as I see it. Even now, after several spins I still find it hard to remember anything about "Umbra Nihil" and "Aarni" without going back and listening to those 2 bands on their own. The opening track from "Jääportit" despite its great moments is overly long and gets a bit tedious and I doubt if many people will sit through the piece without skipping to the next track so there is my gripes about the album. I will still give this a good rating because "Aarni" are just so good in their weirdness and the track from "Caput LVIIIm" is a monumental piece of droning doom metal dread.....................7.5 /10
Jaaportit @ Myspace
Umbra Nihil Official
Aarni Official
Capt L VIIIm Homepage

Dec 25, 2010

Preaching the End-Time Message - Eyehategod Interview

I have to tell you about the Russian undeground community Dirgenera. Dirgenera was started by Igor from RAIG Records to release compilations of doom, stoner, sludge to noise and drone. Dirgenera is very passionate about the music they present so it is with great pleasure for me to announce they have granted us permission to use their interviews here on Doommantia. Thanks goes out to Aleks Evdokimov for setting this up with the guys. For the first interview we have a exclusive interview with Mike from the one and only EYEHATEGOD.

A Welcome Message From The Dirgenera Community
"Hello, guys!!! Greetings from Russia, Moscow!!! I represent Dirgenera Community. We deal with Doom, Sludge, Stoner, Post-Metal, Drone, Ambient and other experimental music styles. Our aim is to support and promote such music in Russia. There are enough people, who are interested in it, there are bands, that play sludge, stoner and doom. Some bands are interesting, some are not, but, anyway, russian sludgy scene is growing nowadays like plants of weed in growboxes, giving birth to new groups and exciting fan`s interest. And it`s rather funny to watch this shit moving around you".

Mike IX

Well, it`s a great opportunity for all of us /Dirgenera/ to have an interview with EYEHATEGOD. Because you, guys is the real face... it`s better to say the core, the very idea of sludge style. So pure, so frank, true and unpredictable. Without any limits, restrictions, laws. Just pure angry hardcore and heavy depressive doom riffing. The real madness!!! And it`s a great luck for me personally to get a chance to talk to you in this way. I listen to many sludge/stoner/doom bands, but none of them can replace you... not even replace, but evoke any emotions, similar to ones, that fill me, when I listen to E.H.G. I go mad, slowly loosing my mind through your sick riffing, drowning in my depressions, smoking weed alone. "Depress", "Ruptured heart...", "Zero...", "Serving times...", "99 miles...", "Jackass..." and, of course, "Dixie whiskey" & "Self medication blues" - I used to take them as a remedy, suffering from a hangover... some hashish, "Self medication blues" and I`m ready for beer again. All these exclamations is an endless stream of emotions. I can talk about EYEHATEGOD endlessly, but we have a definite point. So, let`s start the interview.

-One of your t-shirts says: "Do you like the things of this world, or have they caused you pain?". So, I`d like to address this question to E.H.G. as the first one. Whose phrase is it? I consider it to be a great way for you to introduce yourself to Russian audience.

Mike IX: Well, first of all thanks for the kind words and compliments, I really appreciate it. Its great to hear from you that this type of music has erupted in Russia and other parts of the world. We took the chance of mixing Black Sabbath with Black Flag and it came out killing so its fantastic to see it grow internationally. I'll be honest, however, I have no idea who brought that quoted saying to the table. I believe it was our drummer Joey. We used to seek out and steal nasty and sick artwork and words for our own propaganda use and that was something, a phrase, that hit home in our hearts you know. The saying itself is such a true emotion, its something I think we all think at one time or another wouldn't you say? The image we project is

- Well, if we started to talk about your merch, so there is one more question about it. Who`s the designer of E.H.G.`s t-shirts, hoodies and so on? Do members of the band take part in it? If I`m not mistaken, Mr. Williams makes pictures, collages for album covers himself. Am I right?

Mike IX: Yes, I did all of the art in the very beginning, along with Joey LaCaze also again, and eventually Gary our newest bass player took over for the most part as he has the same aesthetic and ideas as we do. I did the first two LPs, then "Dopesick" I did the cover for and it was banned by Century Media, so Joe did another one. I did "Confederacy of Ruined Lives " and then "Southern Discomfort" was done by the label, we had no say so in that one. "Ten Years of Abuse" was just a live shot photo cover and for Preaching the End-Time Message" I wrote the lyrics out on the inside and the cover was done by Gary and Jimmy I think. I also did all of the old 7" single covers and such.

- How do you feel being "The fathers of sludge"? Do you care about it? And who started to use this term first, describing your music.

Mike IX: Hmmm, You know there were other bands that were pioneers in this genre in the late 80's -early 90's like Grief, 13, Cavity, Buzzoven, Neurosis even etc... I think we all had the same feelings about music at the same time, but I will always say that we, EyeHateGod were the first to bring it to the absolute foreground and get it some recognition, like touring with groups like White Zombie and Pantera etc... Giving the scene a face I guess. I don't know where the term "Sludge" came from but its just another tag to me, another label to describe something. Its really not needed.

-You are going to take a tour in December. What do you think about it? What are your expectations?

Mike IX: What can I say, I love living in a van with these assholes I call my friends, I really do. I mean my home life is fantastic, I gotta wife and cats and chickens, ducks and dogs but I do love going out on tour, it's always an amazing experience, especially in Europe. This is a USA trek this time however, and we always have a great reaction. America is fun as hell to play in, every night a drunken broken hearted spectacle.

-How about a new album? We all are looking forward to get it!!! Have you got any definite ideas how will it sound, look like? Is it in progress? Or, maybe, you`ve got some fresh tracks for a couple of EPs, splits?

Mike IX: I dunno when the new LP will be out to be completely honest with you, if they wanted to go into the studio tomorrow I would go for sure. We definitely have 5 or so new tunes ready to fine tune so we just need to get into a studio and then get a label to back us up and we are set. Hopefully sooner than later.

-How do you create songs? What comes first... "the power of the riff", lyrics with it`s rhythm and melody, the whole conception of the song, or your music is just an endless jam, divided into particular songs at the end?

Mike IX: The RIFF is the absolute 1st I would say, that powers the band into the next step then we tweak it all together with voice and the rhythms. The riffs come from everywhere, everyday influences and inspirations.

-Who composes the major part of melodies, who is the author of E.H.G. music? And how do Brian and Jimmy share their guitar parts?

Mike IX: Everyone contributes in this band. Our drummer has written guitar parts and came up with song titles before so you see it's a collaboration and whoever has the righteous ideas, we go from there. I mainly stick with writing the lyrics but I have came up with parts and ideas they all can use. You'd have to ask Jimmy and Brian how they come up with the sharing of riffs. They both have unique sounds that when put together definitely flow well.
-Which guitars and sound equipment do musicians use to create so brilliant unique E.H.G. sound?

Mike IX: Jim has played a Gibson Sonex with four strings since we began in 1988 with a variety of amps through the years, mainly Marshalls or anything loud. I don't pay much attention to the rest of the band's equipment.

-Do you have any musical education, or you are self-taught musicians? Especially I`d like to address this question to Joe LaCaze. An amazing drummer with brilliant disorientating manner of playing. Joe, any jazz school? And how old were you, when you got your first personal experience in music?

Mike IX: Speaking for Joey, I'm sure he he only has had self-training. Amazing, huh? No one in the band has any professional learning I don’t believe. I took guitar and drum lessons when I was a kid, but obviously I have no vocal training, just straight up screaming from a punk rock stance...

-Which bands on contemporary USA/ world sludge, stoner scene can you name as the bands, that you like, or interested in? And how do you like it (contemporary sludge scene) in a whole?

Mike IX: I've heard a few that I've liked, mainly the older groups, the ones I mentioned before, but I couldn't tell you many new bands I even know of. I don't sit around and listen to this style of music at all. I listen to mostly bands who have already broken up. My taste would maybe surprise you.

-Why do you change bass players so often? Is it a common practice, a part of E.H.G. style, or just a f***ing bad luck? If I`m not mistaken, Gary Mader is the fifth person who plays bass in your band, so, question to Gary. Gary, how do you feel in E.H.G.? Are you going to stay for a long with the band, or you consider yourself more as a session musician?

Mike IX: Different reasons I suppose. Some have quit, some have been kicked out. Gary's first show was in Tokyo, Japan and he will be our longest standing bassist since around 2002-3, he is the EHG bassist as far as I'm concerned.

-What`s your attitude to straight edge, guys? According to your art, you propagandize drugs, whiskey and other kinds of fun. Straight edge is a important part of hardcore culture, so, what do you think about?

Mike IX: I don't think about it. To me, its obviously a healthy way to live I just really never have any thoughts about it. We have friends that don't smoke or drink, so to us its not a big deal. We've shared bills with S.E. bands and had a great time. I was around in the beginning when Minor Threat unknowingly started the whole thing and have seen it turn into another whole deal, more of a trend I guess. It's not for me however.

-How do you like D.I.Y. as the way of releasing CDs and spreading art? Has EYEHATEGOD ever used D.I.Y. method, or you prefer to deal with music labels? What benefits and drawbacks does D.I.Y. have, according to your point of view, and how urgent is it nowadays, when bands can represent their art on the internet?

Mike IX: We've done it both ways and there are benefits to all of it. Record labels though are some times hard to get along with but some times you need the financial backing. Our attitude is mostly D.I.Y. however, coming from early punk and metal scenes in the 80's. The art scene was meant to D.I.Y. I think.

-Which is your favorite E.H.G.`s album? Which one was the most difficult to create and why? Which one has become the most successful? A few words on this point...

Mike IX: I think "Take as Needed..." is a great album but I like different things about each one we've done so thats a hard question. "Confederacy..." is a killer record also. Our first LP "In the Name of Suffering" is unique but I wish the recording was a little better. "Dopesick" sessions were crazy and fun and that one was mixed in San Fransisco so we were out of our element, its a great record though. We never went into a studio with much knowledge on what we were doing back then, more of an attitude of "fuck it" if you know what I mean.

-Have you ever thought about any commercial success? Does E.H.G. give you enough money for living, or it just gives you extra money? Do you have to work, or you earn money only with music?

Mike IX: A couple of us still have jobs but me personally I dont work. We get by in our own individual ways.

-There are two excellent videos in You Tube - "Anxiety Hangover" and "The Age of Bootcamp". Are they your official videos, or a kind of fan art? And how about releasing a live dvd for example? Aren`t you going to make us happy with it? I`m sure - you`ve got enough crazy stuff from different periods of E.H.G. activity!!!

Mike IX: Those are fan videos, as we've never made an official one. We do have a live DVD coming out very soon, it is in the final stages. It's all stuff from the most recent years however. We want to do a documentary of all old interviews and ancient footage but its a lot of work and we havent had time lately. We need a curator. Also I lost 25 years of stuff in hurricane Katrina. With You Tube these days folks can see anything they want at any time anyway. We have done live DVDs in the past, like the "Live in Tokyo" thing, bit its impossible to find now. Maybe E-bay has it.

-"Cancer as a Social Activity" is the greatest book, written in a very specific manner. Naked, sincere, spearheaded at the core of life without even a chance for a reader to hide behind the curtain of self-deception. Unfortunately, I haven`t finished it yet... Any plans to bring us another one collection of poetry? And do you have any novels? I mean do you write prose?

Mike IX: Oh, cool glad you like it. I have two more dark, negative poetry books written, which once again I dont have time right now to finish editing and putting together. I'll get it done though of course. I want to eventually write my life story as well and also we want to do an EHG book, with photos, stories etc... I also write for a few different metal/punk magazines around the world.
-If we speak about literature, which books do you prefer? Who are your favourite writers? Which book has changed your life?

Mike IX: I read everything, I especially love biographies. Wm. Vollman, Jeff Vandermeer, Hunter Thompson, Bukowski, Burroughs, Stan Lee, Darby Crash, Nick Cave, Karen Carpenter etc...

-Your attitude to religion. What do you think about it? And your attitude to particularly.

Mike IX: I'm not a religious person at all, but I believe in spiritualism. I've taken things from Buddhism, Rosicrucians, Native American Indian culture and a lot of other things when building my certain thoughts. So I do not believe in God or a god, and I'm not an Atheist either because I think its a pointless word. I think Buddhism has a lot of perfect ideas and I dig the chanting aspect of it as well. I've tread my karmic wheel, believe me; I've paid some dues and now think being cool to people gets people to be cool to you, it's a fact that actually works.

-Your country has an admirable psychedelic past. I`m talking about 60s, the times of psychedelic revolution and so on. What do you think about LSD, as a kind of psychedelic weapon? Is it the real way to change the world to the better? I mean the scheme: I change my mind and become more positive, my neighbors do the same and more and more people do the same and we get.... ..."peace" without cops, political bullshit and "war for oil". Or you think that people are violent and stupid by nature and neither LSD, nor mushrooms with tons of weed won`t change shit in their minds?

Mike IX: Those types of drugs are obviously good for some people but I do think that most people are violent and stupid by nature and won't change for anything. Hallucinogenics are not for everybody, as everyone has different thoughts and mind frames. It's probably useless to think humanity could be saved by these things. It does open doors however, and allows you to see another way of thinking. Peace is a word.

-I`ve heard that methamphetamine is extremely popular in The USA nowadays. Why do you think Americans use it so hard?

Mike IX: Its a horrible drug, but so prevalent here because its cheap and easy to make and make a profit from. Anything can be used in small doses for experimentation, but people are dying over here from that particular substance as it's extremly addictive and dangerous. Lots of violence over here from these things, drug gangs etc...

-Do you agree, that terrorism, guerrilla warfare are the best ways to express your political, social demands?

Mike IX: Not always. Once again in depends on what the situation is. Sometimes it's just best to do smarter planning with intelligence and underground scheming and covert activity.

- What do you know about Russia? Any Russian writers, poets, musicians, rock bands...??? Some foreigners think that Russians are hungry, angry, always drunk communists. Rockers and metalheads usually enjoy playing shows in Russia. What do you personally think about us? And would you like to visit our country and play gigs in f***ing cold Russia?

Mike IX: I have heard of heard some Russian music and writing, Dostoevsky and such, but I'd like to hear/read more. I know of a band called "Schlam" that sent me some songs. I don't like to go by stereotypical things, but sometimes it's all you have to go on, right? I do not believe in these traits truly though. Of course I would love to visit your country and play some shows, that would rule!!

-Anyway, you guys don't look like gloomy, sorrowful freaks in spite of the music and art that you perform. As for me, all your "sick riffing" looks more like a kind of self-irony, or black perverted humour. How can you describe yourself as people behind the scene? Are you married? Do you have any children? Your hobbies? Do you like pets? Do you like to travel?

Mike IX: We have good senses of humor and like to have fun, but that doesn't mean we ain't all miserable bastards at one time or another, that's for sure. Shit happens. We have all those things you mention, I am married to great girl who saved my life and all love animals, liquor, music, art, books, and life...

-Thank you for the interview!!! And the last question. What is EYEHATEGOD for you? Only music that you like to play with the poetry that Mike likes to sing? Or E.H.G. is a kind of direct action, an act of terrorism, committed in a form of art, a double-barrelled gun, pointed at a fat cop`s face? And if it is, always remember: we support you faithfully!!! Living on different continents, we stand nip and tuck, fighting our common enemy!!!

Mike IX: EHG has become a way of life for us and still means all the things we meant when we started the group, confusion through art and propaganda through contradiction. Destroy society as it stands!! Fight the good fight! Thank you all for being our brothers in this war, beat down normality and convention. It's brave new world out there we can let our kids know that things can change if the earth doesn't self destruct soon! Drink and be merry!! See you one day!! Thanks for the I-view!!

Good luck to you!!! Cheers!!!
Sergey Dovlatov - project coordinator
Konstantin Gosha, Eugen The Brick - text, design
Original Russian Text Here
EyeHateGod @ Myspace

Dec 24, 2010

Doperman - S/T EP

Finnish band formed in 2008 but been more active from 2009 since Thomas Vee joined the group.

The Cast Is:
Jani Lehikoinen: guitar
Tuomas Kujala: drums
Marko Väätäinen: Bass
Thomas Vee: Vocals & Guitar..

Age of the players are on both sides of 30 and all have experience in the field of music and Thomas has also visited the 2nd album of Sear and some successful promo recordings of Iconofear. Music could be called Heavy Metal or even Stoner Rock depending on the listener.. Influences sail from Black Sabbath to Down & Clutch, even Hawkwind. Lyrics consist mainly from the basics, is art political or how much can you drink and women and stuff.

Making music is mainly alltogether but Thomas makes the lyrics and vocal arrangements. Nobody is trying to invent the wheel, but least try to keep it rolling.

5 track promo recording was done at Drophammer studios Finland by Matias Helle.

Doperman are another great band from the one of the leading countries supplying the riffs at the moment - Finland and the above description is fairly accurate as they are not reinventing anything but still deliver some great riffage and some really infectious hard-rock. Opening track, "No Pages Left" stampedes its way out of the speakers with a bulldozing, mid-tempo assault that reminded me of vintage "Orange Goblin" at first but some of the riff changes and the vocals take the track to somewhere different, somewhere less psychedelic and more of a cross between stoner,fuzz rock and old-school heavy metal. This song is packed with energy and some infectious guitar-work especially in its second half. The guitar work is awesome, especially in the wailing solo's and the vocals have a classic rock quality about them that sounds like someone else but I am damned if I can figure out who it is. "No Pages Left" is a scorching opening track to this 5 tracker. "Braincells" is equally impressive and it kicks off with thrilling guitar lines before a wailing howl from vocalist Thomas Vee gets the tune away into overdrive. The sound is clean, crisp but full and the throbbing bass-lines from Marko Väätäinen are something very hypnotic. This song like all the others has a anthemic vibe and I hope the band don't get mad when they read this but I always think of bands like W.A.S.P when I listen to them. That is a positive comment by the way even though I don't like Blackie & Co, it is just this band has an underlying, larger than life stadium rock approach to their songs. The songs are expressive, infectious and display a solid appreciation of how fine rock songs are written. It is still heavy but what grabs me with Doperman is the tasty songwriting and that is only matched by the exquisite musicianship.

Third track, "Plastic" follows a similar path to the others, more anthemic, wailing vocals and solo's, more supreme riffing and more tighter than a duck's ass kind of arrangements. "Science Fiction" is another good track, maybe not as quite as catchy as the rest but it still finds time to supply some biting guitar work and the solo passages are again, really exciting. I dare you to sit still while listening to this, I bet you can't because this thing kicks some serious butt. The last track up is titled "Devil In The Rye" and it is a fitting closer to this all too short EP. Starting with a very Fu Manchu -ish riff, it is a slow burner for the most part with beautifully executed vocal melodies.  The song builds in atmosphere and slowly climbs with some wonderful melody coming from the guitar. The melody line that is used in this song sounds familiar but just like the vocals, I can't figure out where I have heard it before, either way it is one hell of a tasty melody and the way it is blended into the song is excellent. Doperman have really cast a wide-net of sound with this EP, they could appeal to stoner-rock fans, heavy-metal and 70's hard-rock fans all at the same time. I would hate to call this stoner-rock as there is far more taste and class in these songs than most of the bands that fall under that banner. Whatever you choose to call it, this is a great EP by a band that you must watch out for in the future...................9/10
Doperman @ Myspace

Fu Manchu To Celebrate 15th Anniversary Of 'In Search Of…' Album

For many people the band that got them into "Stoner-Rock" was Fu Manchu" along with Kyuss of course and for many people, the first album they heard was "In Search Of." Fu Manchu don't make albums like that one anymore and "In Search Of" remains a classic album in the genre. Over-loaded with fuzz, energy and a spacey, jammy vibe, the album has stood the test of time. The line-up at the time included Ruben Romano on drums and dishing out the wild solos was Eddie Glass, these two left just after the albums release citing personal and musical differences with guitarist, vocalist Scott Hill. They were replaced by Brant Bjork and Bob Balch, respectively. I first heard "In Search Of" while high on acid, burning down a highway at 120, that experience alone still stands out as one of the musical highlights of my life ! It was the album that got me hooked to the band and I stayed that way up to the release of "California Crossing," the change of sound that was displayed on that album signaled the end of an era for the band in my opinion. Their more recent albums are still very good but the original magic is now gone and you certainly don't hear the psychedelic wailing like you did when Eddie Glass was in the band. However, I was thrilled to read that Fu Manchu are going on tour to play this album in full, from start to finish. Here is the story from Blabbermouth

Southern California's heavy fuzz rock legends FU MANCHU will celebrate the 15th anniversary of their major label debut, "In Search Of…" The hardworking group will be undertaking a headlining tour with a set comprised of the entire album from start to finish. Many of these songs will be performed live for the first time ever.

On March 1, FU MANCHU will make "In Search Of…" available as a 180-gram vinyl reissue on the band's own At The Dojo Records worldwide. The band will also be selling the reissue at these shows as well as on CD. On March 2, FU MANCHU will launch its European trek in the U.K. A full listing of the 26-city, 13-country, four-week tour can be seen on the poster below.

Recorded at Grandmaster Studios in Hollywood, California by the band and Brian Jenkins (KYUSS, SCREAMING TREES) and mastered by Eddy Schreyer (SLAYER, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, BAD RELIGION, ALICE IN CHAINS), "In Search Of…" was the band's first effort for Mammoth Records. This 12-track collection is considered a classic of the '90s and a pillar for the "stoner rock" movement. Highlights include the lead single "Asphalt Risin'", "Redline" and fan favorite "Cyclone Launch".

Originally formed in 1985 as a BLACK FLAG-influenced hardcore punk band called VIRULENCE, FU MANCHU has since become one of hard rock's most celebrated names. The band released its first single, "Kept Between Trees", in 1990 and in the years following, helped give rise to a celebrated style of heavy music tagged "stoner rock" alongside peers such as KYUSS, MONSTER MAGNET and SLEEP. Since its inception, the quartet has built itself a fanatical army of loyal enthusiasts all drawn to the group's ridiculously catchy, unpretentious music, guitar-driven sound and carefree lyrics centered on "old muscle cars, choppers, vans, skateboarding and science fiction."

"I can't believe that it has been 15 years since we recorded 'In Search Of...'," states FU MANCHU vocalist/guitarist Scott Hill. "We are stoked to be playing these tunes for the fans and will be doing a few of them for the first time ever and maybe the last."

The band intends to replicate the classic album experience in upcoming tours with subsequent albums and their companion vinyl reissues. FU MANCHU will also tour the U.S. for "In Search Of…15 Years" later in 2011. Details are expected to be announced in the near future.

In addition to Hill, FU MANCHU features guitarist Bob Balch, bassist Brad Davis and drummer Scott Reeder.
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