Dec 31, 2011

5 Q & A's Interview Extravaganza Part One ...

The Concept:
I do not like too long speeches, but idea of doing such big combined interview with artists playing slow and heavy music (psychedelic, stoner, sludge – all that we call “doom” sometimes) was simply in the air! And now here we go… I just sent 5 questions to few bands but a day after that and a day after that day I started to ask other bands without which this interview wouldn’t be completed! It was so hard to stop so you can see how much stuff we have here, and even now I’m thinking that it would be right to gather few more bands for this publication! It’s a kind of doom-obsession! But okay – few words about crux of the message…

1. Question one is pretty simple – it’s about most significant doom-release or doom-event of 2011.

2. Next question is a mental pabulum for you, dear doom-followers. Most of us are dealing with illegal downloads of music which our favorite doom-heralds are composing and recording. I do not agree with the sentence that “artist must be hungry”, though it’s obvious that living off playing heavy music is quiet a impossible thing. I didn’t suppose that such a simple (as I thought) question would make such a wide resonance amidst bands, so I recommend you to read all of this. As for me… There was one ugly case in Talbot’s gig in Moscow. I was speaking with Jarmo (drummer and voice-man) because we did the interview a week before this concert and he has asked me if I have Talbot’s CD. I answered something like “Man, don’t you remember – I sent you the link onto my review of your album?” But Jarmo said:
“Yes, I remember, but DO YOU HAVE CD?” You know – it was very uneasy feeling when I answered “No”. After that he presented me “Eos”, and I felt ashamed. Yes, mostly I get CDs straight from bands for reviews but, please, don’t forget how OUR support is important for them.

3. Drugs’n’doom. I expected not shocking revelations from our honoured respondents about terrible shit due to drugs abusing – no. I rather want you to pay attention to this problem because it’s not only the fun of revealing new dimensions, the matter has it’s negative and positive aspects. I don’t want to preach, I want you to think – that’s all.

4. I had to ask about bands’ plans for the next 2012 year. Of course if someone didn’t split up and already bought good and strong oaken coffin expecting Mayan Armageddon or some other fantastic shit. Fourth question is about it.

5. And last one is about how to spend New Year coming. Do not know how it goes in other countries, but it seems to be the main celebration in Russia, so I have the chance to drink vodka for your health till I drop. But, well, I’ll endure – never surrender!!!

After all I wish all the best for our dear respondents – thanks for your music, thanks for your inspiration! Thanks to our devoted and patient readers, thanks to doommantia’s writers! And of course thanks to a chief chaplain of Doom Cult – thank you Ed for a chance to spread Word world-wide! I wish all the best for all of you and success in your beginnings in forthcoming year of 2012.....Aleks

 Part One featuring: Master Warjomaa from AArni, Jake from Alunah, Paul from Black Oath, Johnny Mc Machon from Castero, Jon Davis from Conan, Joaquin Cuadra from El Hijo De La Aurora, Nicholas DiSalvo from Elder, Jonathan Bates from Elliotts Keep, Greg Chandler from Esoteric, and Stonezilla from Ethereal Riffian.

AARNI (Finland)
Master Warjomaa (Vocals, all instruments)

1. I've been subjected to only a few of the more or less "doom metal" releases of 2011 ev. My favourites include The Wounded Kings' 'In The Chapel Of The Black Hand' and Lord Vicar's 'Signs Of Osiris'.

2. I cannot see any "final solution" to this situation, except maybe pulling the plug on the whole Internet. But we wouldn't want that, eh?
The various impacts on the music industry (an oxymoron?) have been discussed for years on various forums, panels, blogs etc. by experts and "experts" both.
For artists, illegal downloading naturally means loss of income, but on the positive side wider exposure...hardly any consolation? There's also the "try before you buy" aspect - although most bands do provide at least some of their songs for free streaming anyway :p
One good or bad result (depending on how you look at it) could be the resultant economic losses for major labels - but it also has made them to take even less risks than before with signing new (and old) talent. The mainstream releases therefore become even more homogeneous and poor in
variation than was the case the major labels seem increasingly run by businessmen rather than individuals interested in pushing music forward. For the minor/indie labels illegal downloading can simply mean ruin. Yet record labels may be soon obsolete anyway, as more and more artists realise they can perform most if not all of the traditional functions of a label themselves - with the aid of modern technology. Cut out the middlemen and see where that takes you.
Anyhow, both big and small artists today gain much of their income from touring and selling merchandise. If you never gig (ahem), you're shit out of luck in this respect. But looking at the dark side of the sun, if making music doesn't pay, at least it weeds out those who don't have a real passion for expressing themselves musically. Getting albums for free seems to have an unwanted psychological side effect as well: people only tend to value things they have paid for.
Some would disagree, but think about it...unconsciously you have a need to defend your money-spending, so in the case of music an album you have bought actually seems to be "better" than if you had gotten it for free. That may explain why so many bands appear to release "bad" albums nowadays ;)

3. I am the only drug my familiars need. I don't see a problem with using "drugs" in the context of listening to and/or making music. After all, apparently most of the best music in history was hardly made by sober people, right? Look at some of the famous musicians who have made a big
number out of "becoming clean" and compare their creations before/after that event...
Many who have used mind-expanding agents can tell you how it gives an extra dimension (or numerous) to the experience of listening to music. There might be no question of abuse, only use, in this context. It's probably a different matter when it comes to performing/recording music
coherently. I guess it all depends on your musical goals and style, but being even slightly drunk rarely seems to improve one's skills and the end result. However, being out of your mind in some manner can work and has worked wonders during the stage of writing music, artistic inspiration,
creativity and so on.

4. I just finished mixing Aarni's tracks for the long-delayed (mea culpa!) Aarni / Persistence In Mourning split album, which I also mastered. Hopefully it will be released sooner rather than later in 2012 ev. That way people will have maximum time to digest the album before the inevitable beginning of the world hits on 21st December.
Yet our coffins have speakers. Aarni shall also continue working on our third full-length album
'Lovecraftian', which may get finished in time or not. These things should never be rushed...

5. "Rejoice, for the end is near! The destruction of the void finally comes to a close after aeons of extra-cosmic tinkering by vast and cold intelligences or lack thereof. In anticipation of this event you may consider living the year 2012 ev as if it were your last in this particular star system. Repeat next year, and the next, and the next etc. until you run out of biology. Retarded adepts arise!"
I don't have any clear plans for the New Year yet, but likely I will spend it curled into a fetal position in a brewery far away from the rat race...of the mind.

Aarni @ Myspace
Aarni Official

 ALUNAH (United Kingdom)
Jake (Drums)

1. Best releases of the year would be Yob - Atma and Blood Ceremony - Living With the Ancients. Events of the year hmmm...Cathedral calling it a day by destroying London at their last show was pretty special. Oh...and Alunah signing with PsycheDoomelic Records:)

2. In a perfect world the soltion would be for each listener to have a conscience and support the bands that they like. Using downloads to "try before you buy" would be perfect for the listener and band. Unfortunately we live in such a fast paced and disposable culture that its almost impossible for this ideaology to work perfectly. The best you can do is make it work as much as possible for you. Despite the financial downside the fact is more people still here bands like Alunah because of the internet so we have try and use that to our advantage.

3. Look at all the great artists we've lost through drink and drug abuse. Then balance that against the "did drink /drugs have any positve effect on their music" argument. You could discuss it forever and still not come up with a definitive moral guide.

4. Record the second album, lots of live shows,achieve "groupie" that order:). Check to see how we get on!

5. New year will be spent with family ..trying not to abuse alchohol...and failing miserably. Alunah wish everyone a great 2012.

Alunah Official
Alunah @ Myspace

Paul (Bass)

1. For us, it's very hard to find the best doom-release of this year..we've had the opportunity to play with a lot of good bands like Abysmal Grief, Procession, Candlemass, The Devil's Blood, and more.. all of their releases are very good. but if I must choice 2-3 albums, my favourite for this year are Procession "Destroyers of the Faith" and Murkrat "Drudging the Mire", very dark and sick! I also like the new Abysmal Grief EP "Foetur Funereus Mortuorum" ..The best doom-event was Hammer of Doom festival, great organization and bands!..We can say the same about the festivals where we've played, Hell's Pleasure in Germany and Metal Magic in Denmark!

2. Illegal downloads are only for useless people, they're not music supporters, of course this kind of download can help a band to be better known, but we really hate to hear downloaded stuff, without read the lyrics, credits and all of the things which make special and unique each release.. it's very sad to say but it's impossible to delete this plague, internet is a great invention, very usefull but at the same time very dangerous..

3. We don't need to take drugs to give a sense to our days, if someone have a feeble mind and want to use drugs for personal problems and kill himself for us there's no problem, everyone is free to do what he want. we don't care about it..there's only one aspect, less people in this world, this is very positive!

4. First of all we want to finish and record our second full lenght, then we would like to play in Europe the more as possible,it dosen't matter if is for festivals or single gig!

5. We will wait waiting the new year in a desolate cemetery, there's no hope or positive feelings for the upcoming year. Our deepest condolences to you and all of your readers..

Black Oath @ Myspace
Black Oath @ Facebook

 CASTERO (Ireland)
Johnny Mc Machon (Vocals, Guitars)

1. I havent listened to much new music this year for some strange reason but one of my favorite albums of the year was Crowbars Sever the Wicked Hand. Black Sabbath back together again is also a great event, touring and a new album so that should be interesting to hear, hopefully they can capture the spirit of  the early sabbath albums, i got to see them in 98 in London but minus Bill ward so I’m hoping to catch them next year somewhere in Europe!!

2. Its a problem which will not go away especially with people having less money due to the economic meltdown around the globe. It will destroy the chances of bands getting a good record deal because labels will have less turn over. For bands like ourself its not a problem because we stream most of our tunes after a cd release. we fund our own recordings but we would like some kind of label support because its tough to finance it all. there'll never be a solution to downloading because people always find loop holes.

3. Drugs have always been part of the music industry and this wont change. People find inspiration from drug use in their writing but the downfalls can be catastrophic, an example of this is Hendrix in the classics that he churned out and the down side would be Phil Lynott from Thin Lizzy who's life ended way too short because of his heroin addiction. We aren’t strongly into drugs maybe the odd occasion here and there but i have wrote a few songs based on past experiences.

4. Next year for us looks really strong, we have a new soul joining us on Guitar to make Castero a 4 piece once again, Richie Donovan formely of  Fivewilldie and Wardog joins the ranks so we are all excited by this. We will have new tunes ready to roll and with Richies talent we will be a much stronger and tighter band also we'll have lots more to offer on our tunes. We had planned to release a new album in 2011 but it got held up mainly due to lack of funds and also an injury to myself recently but now we will definately be releasing something special this year i feel. 2012 is going to be our defining moment, I’m hoping The Mayans have got it wrong haha

5. We'd like to wish all our fans and your readers a great new year and hope they all get what they want this year :)
For new years I’m throwing a big bash in our Practice Room for a few friends and neighbors, it could go on for a few days knowing us but it’ll be a great night.
Cheers & Happy New year!!

Castero Official
Castero @ Myspace
Castero @ Facebook

 CONAN (United Kingdom)
Jon Davis (Guitars, Vocals)

1. This year I saw YOB play live for the first time (Manchester, October 2011) this blew me away totally!

2. I do not think you can do anything to limit illegal downloads. You can't stop the files setting onto the Internet and you can't stop people downloading the files...... The ISP can do this, but I guess it's impossible to implement on such a wide scale.

3. I have no experience of any drugs beyond weed. But I know that lately we see people smoking weed at our shows, in spite of a smoking ban at the babies in England. We think this is cool, as we believe people can enjoy our music better while stoned. I used to do this at shows myself so it's cool.

4. In March 2012 we release our new album on Burning World Records, we play Roadburn followed by a short tour of Europe. We play some cool shows in the UK. Beyond that we have no plans, but we'll see what comes our way.

5. To all the guys at Doommantia, have a great 2012 - SLAY ALL GIANTS!

Conan Official
Conan @ Facebook

Joaquin Cuadra (Drums)

1. Orchid-Capricorn – it’s ....Full Love to Sabbath.
The full album is a A++ , even if, sometimes, it sounds like a "collage" of various riff of Sabbath discography , but this , always works. (well, almost always ). "Black Funeral" and "He Who alone walks" ,are my favorites
Yob ATMA is the most representative Doom/Psycho/mystic Band, This Album is F*cking Awesome. Before We Dreamed of Two is the Hit!.
Doom-event… HAMMER OF DOOM FESTIVAL (with Blood Ceremony, Lord Vicar and Orchid) ...Why Fuck, I live so far away..?     
2.  About Illegal downloads .... We must see this like a "Evolution" is like the two faces of Janus:
For one  side , The Labels : spend them money and believe in the bands, they Release and distribution our albums, trying make some of cash. And on the other side, Internet ...  With social networks and blogspot, and the infinite ways to share and promote music
This "model of Bussines"  must change, the Labels must develop "Marketing Strategies to Attract New Business"  for catch the 3 types of people who consume music:
-Those who use the streaming service (like YouTube) 100% Free
-Free MP3's  (downloading via blogspot) 100% free, very low quality
-And a very select group who buy music and  apreciate the artistic value and make possible the support the musicians.  
The Labels should keep in mind that today those people who download free music is  very necessary and important , listen our album and get to know, comment or share the album of the band to further consumers to buy the album, "they are promote." If "this promotion"  go a direct client who will buy the album, great! If "this promotion" generates recommend or share with 1000 other contact in a social network, Fucking Awesome!!!!.
The Labels have to improve the this "business model to make albums" and do that  this evolution  with  the world of today work well, and generate more profits in the publishing or merchandising.        
The Labels must change or will disappear. The art of making albums must  become in a art of "Cult"  the album must be made more attractive to a minority group of people ,that are ready to pay for art (Vinyl format, for example). Tranform it on a single and unique object that is made with love, to keep alive the ritual around the enjoy way of listening and music. Do you remember the "Golden Era of the Vinil " ... ?? the smell of the new album, the pages , the pic's ... The labels have to sell its charm, its crafts, its mystery and how to appreciate music. It's like having a good photo ... you can put this "good photo" in your computer, or you can put in an especial place ,for exhibition, in a beautifully frame, to be a special object.
3. The drugs are not same like was in the wonderful 60's. Was a bridge, which under its influence ,many people experimented other levels of consciousness. much wonderful music was developed under its influence. But now, Big organizations have the control the distribution of drugs and these organizations are trying  control to you. You become a their slave. avoid to You think clearly. Personally, I think you can not live like a slave ,One must  live with freedom to see things clearly.
4. For my Side , "The Son of Dawn" is ready to record our third album initially we had to start recording in December 2011 but this date shall be postponed to the fall of 2012. It is a double album, is already written and composed, just we need to start record it.
And on the other hand, we have begun to make an ark in the woods...  of 300 cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high....

5. A big hug for my Brothers and Sisters of the Community Doom / Stoner / Heavy / etc ..., etc ...
A big hug for you, Aleks, to Igor (R.A.I.G) and the members of my band (Cantoni and Manolo). If you have family, love them, and if they are alone, my message: You will never  alone, never surrender. Doom. On !
Plans for the new year? No plans, just reading at Home.
Happy  Doomsday Recitation 2012!!!!

Official Website
Official Facebook

Nicholas DiSalvo (Guitars, Vocals, Keyboards)

1. I've been reading over a lot of "Best Of 2011" lists lately and have to admit that I haven't heard the majority of the releases that are getting high praise. My personal taste is moving further and further from the doom/stoner scene, so I haven't been as up on new releases as I could have been. So with that in mind, I'll say instead some of my favorite metal releases in general from last year. First and foremost I was absolutely stunned by the new Taake album "Noregs Vaapen", which came shortly after another one of the year's highlights "Abzu" by Absu. The stoner album which got the most rotation for me was probably "Capricorn" by Orchid, which wasn't the most unique release but had some really great and catchy songwriting. The Psychic Paramount's "II" was a really interesting and heady release, and while not metal it's worth mention for it's psychedelic qualities.
As far as events are concerned, I think Roadburn is always THE event in the world of heavy/psychedelic music and I was fortunate enough to be present at the 2011 festival. 2012 should be interesting, it looks like the Desert Fest may be emerging as something of a contender for Roadburn, especially considering its price. Again I'd have to admit I haven't looked into too many festivals stateside, seems like Europe is the real mecca of the stoner/doom scene.

2.  It's hard for me to give a definitive answer to this. It seems that there are only two real courses of action that bands and labels can really take to cope with this: one of them is harsh legal action (like we in the States might be confronted with soon with a new so-called SOPA bill - look this piece of oppressive censorship bullshit up if you haven't already!) or acceptance and embracing new technology. Regarding the first of these two, I think that any legal action attempting to stop the free (and illegal) distribution of music online is doomed to fail. The internet is too vast, too quickly evolving and there are too many innovative minds who support free sharing of ideas; I think for each door that is shut online a new one will open elsewhere. To the second alternative: there are plenty of places that offer high-quality digital releases on a pay-by-track basis, websites like Bandcamp that allow bands to sell their music without a middleman.
I think the internet's possibilities to disseminate music for free is one of the most important developments in music ever. The exposure it grants to worthy artists is amazing.... of course, it also allows anyone to distribute their music to the entire world. The setback of this is, of course, when independent labels and artists truly suffer, when they don't have enough money to put out releases anymore. I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a case in the world of real independent music where free downloading has taken away from revenue so much that bands or labels literally aren't able to compensate for it. I'm of the opinion that if people truly appreciate the music and want to support the artists, they will continue going to shows, buying merchandise or physical copies of the albums. As a big proponent of free music downloading, I feel I can vouch for this personally. We see our albums up on blogs for download and it's a great feeling. I am ecstatic that people are excited about the music and want to share it - that's what it's there for. Our music is not a commodity, we're not interesting in reaping the financial benefits, and if you don't have the money for a CD, I still want you to be able to enjoy the music. These blogs also offer immense exposure; it's inevitable that some who hear the album will find it valuable enough to also buy it. I download music fanatically - and spend at least a hundred dollars on records every month, mostly on albums I've already downloaded.

3. Here comes the stock answer: drugs can be valuable for loosening up your state of mind or allowing you to think more "creatively" if you will, but to become mentally or physically dependent on a substance, especially with the purpose of creating or coping is a dangerous game. It's probably not necessary to detail why drug abuse can be a negative factor, just as everyone is familiar with stories of musicians whose output can be attributed almost solely to drugs. I think it's a highly personal matter. People change when they become dependent, their interests and motivation changes. If you're an artist and use drugs to further your artistic vision, fine, but its when the substance becomes the focus and not the art that it's a problem.

4. Elder has a few exciting things coming up. Firstly, we're recording for a new 12" EP this January which is scheduled for release next April through our local purveyors of heavy music, the Armageddon Shop in Providence, RI. Throughout the winter and spring we'll continue writing new material and playing shows here and there, and this summer we plan on doing a stateside tour. And that should give us plenty of time to get working on our coffins for the Mayan doomsday next December!

5. Congratulations, all of you readers out there. You made it through another year and are plodding ever closer to your own deaths. We here in the USA are also one year closer to the demise of our evil empire, and we'll be toasting it accordingly. Who knows where this New Year's Eve will bring us - I can only assume I'll be in my home, listening to a few records and enjoying some quiet company. Or getting shitfaced somewhere. One of the two always happens.
...But seriously - have a good New Year!

Elder @ Bandcamp
Elder @ Facebook

Jonathan Bates (Bass)

1. The release of 40 Watt Sun, an incredible record – and then the announcement of the imminent Candlemass release.

2. That is like worrying about the weather – it is beyond control.  There is the downside of it all, and then there is the positive of the spread of music around the world.  As to our band, we are not worried about sales and are pleased to have more people hear our music.  We do note the great many sites out there to download our albums – our only irritation is those who charge for it.  For those who need to be focused on the business aspect, there is no question that it will change business models forever.

3. That is not our scene – we are about beer at band practice, and then bourbon and the occasional single malt scotch.

4. We are finishing work on our third record – great new songs for 2012.  We cannot wait for you to hear these new songs.

5. Horns held high for doom metal in 2012.  Our greetings and thanks to our friends.

Elliotts Keep @ Myspace

 ESOTERIC (United Kingdom)
Greg Chandler (Guitars, Vocals)

1. To be quite honest I’m not too aware of many doom metal albums that have been released in 2011.  I listen to many different styles of music, and those the media classify as doom make up only a very small part of the music I listen to.  Releases I have heard and appreciated this year are Echo (ita), Pantheist (uk) and Mournful Congregation (aus).

2. I am not sure what the solution would be, whether a band shares their music or not the simple fact is that they all end up on torrent sites as soon as they are released, if not before, so that anyone who wants to own an album without paying for it can get it.  The real fans that recognize that bands need to sell some albums in order to continue making them will still buy the CD’s and band merchandise if they can afford to, but in a world where most people consider their own needs and wants before what is “fair” or “right”, it’s obvious that album sales are affected by this ease of availability from free downloads.  I think file sharing and free downloads affect bands making a living from their music more so than the smaller underground bands who would not sell enough to make much or even any profit.  Even when selling albums, bands are always the last in the “food chain” in any case.  Very little of the final sale price of an album goes to the band, once you have the retailer, distributor and record labels cut to take off.  Most extreme bands make music because of passion alone, which is admirable, but of course it would always help bands to spend more time with their music if they get some financial return from it.  Everyone has bills to pay and needs money in order to live.  I think the music industry will adapt to these changes over time and find a way to sustain itself, though it’s quite clear that whatever happens, bands will remain the bottom of the “food chain” when it comes to seeing any returns for their labour.

3. I think that drug use in moderation can also bring positive experiences, when in the right hands.  Particularly in some cases psychoactive drugs can enhance the perception of colour and sound and enable introspection and exploration of the deeper recesses of the mind and levels of consciousness.  This can also be useful when used creatively with music, lyrics, art.  Obviously drug use also has a lot of negative aspects when drugs are over used or abused, or used by people who cannot cope with the effects of using various drugs. I think it’s a matter that is different for each individual and the extent in which they use drugs.  Many great albums have been written and recorded over the course of time both with and without the influence of drugs.

4. Currently we are rehearsing in preparation for live shows to follow the album release and we’ll be playing in Finland in February 2012 and have shows to follow throughout 2012 which will be announced as and when they are confirmed.

5. I don’t have any plans yet as to how I will greet the new year, but I wish the readers the best of luck for 2012 and to you Aleks and all at Doommantia.  Best regards.

Esoteric Official
Official Myspace

Stonezilla (Guitars, Vocals)

1. Best release - "Elder - Dead Roots Stirring". Event - Robustfest. We did a great job there.

 2. It's a well-known fact that people who buy CDs and vinyls listen to mp3s before they make a decision - and it's rational (I'm one of these people actually). Though we're now in the situation where no one is satisfied. My advice:

- For the bands: write kick-ass/individual music;
- For the labels: make an outstanding production, special/limited editions etc (forget about that jewel-boxes).
There's a lot of stuff around and people want to have something really unique - so be unique, it's worth trying.

3. Drugs can be a problem for those who can't use them. Weed is fine (if smoke responsibly), heavy drugs are not, because they question your personality, and threat your identity. I've heard about a guy who did drugs and started seeing a goat who followed him everywhere he was going! Can you imagine that? He ended up in asylum. Is that good? I don't think so. And there are thousands of "goat-seeing-guys" around.
Alternative? I believe that meditation and yoga is a better and a more productive way to reach that special condition, though I'm not an expert here. I just think that everyone is capable of opening their abilities with help of their own mind and effort.

 4. A vinyl release, recording of the second album, a debut full-length from my second band Wolverine Blues, flight to Saturn and more!

 5. With my big family. My wish to the readers - find peace and harmony, or ride the unicorn (pick the one you like most).

Ethereal Riffian Bandcamp

Stay Tuned For Part Two and Three.........

Thanks to Aleks Evdokimov for the great work he put into this monster project....Ed

Dec 30, 2011

Pagan Altar: Dance of the Vampires (2012) ...

New video and track from Pagan Altar ,
To be Officially Released on the 'Never Quite Dead' album in 2012.
All video and lyrics are inspired by the cult film with the same name, Dance of the Vampires.

THE GATES OF SLUMBER's 'Suffer No Guilt' To Be Reissued ...

VIA: Blabbermouth
THE GATES OF SLUMBER's "Suffer No Guilt" album will be reissued in a glorious six-panel, matte-finished digipak through Deep Send Records. THE GATES OF SLUMBER should be a household name to all lovers of true doom metal. To the uninitiated, their magnum sophomore album, "Suffer No Guilt", is the perfect place to start your journey.

THE GATES OF SLUMBER started in 1998 as a backlash against the stoner rock trend prevalent at the time and with their mixture of BLACK SABBATH, SAINT VITUS, PENTAGRAM, and prime-era CELTIC FROST, the band has crushed or converted unbelievers ever since. Considered by many to be their most powerful and crushing opus, "Suffer No Guilt" features stunning artwork by Ken Kelly (KISS, MANOWAR, RAINBOW) that perfectly illustrates this totalitarian doom metal crusade! For more information, visit THE GATES OF SLUMBER' latest album, "The Wretch", was released in May via Rise Above/Metal Blade. The CD was recorded at England's Orgone Studios with producer Jaime Gomez Arellano (GHOST, ANGEL WITCH).

HEADS UP: Hurlbat – Demo 2011 ...

This is a demo that wasn't sent to me, I stumbled across it by accident and I am glad I did. This is some heavy doom in the classic, sludgy, stoner-doom traditional a-la Electric Wizard, Sleep and Grief. This very short (13 minutes) demo is a monstrous slug-like creäture that is painfully slow, plodding, and immensely powerful, especially considering this is just a demo. It makes me wonder how heavy a professionally recorded full-length album would be. I don't know nothing about the band, except Dave Lynch (guitars, vocals) also plays in Enoch. The band appears to be just a two-piece, the other member being Gordon James Wallace on drums and vocals. My first thought when hearing this, is the band have been listening to a lot of older stoner-doom records like Electric Wizard's 'Dopethrone' and the first couple of Grief albums and while there is nothing new here, they have their own take on those classic sounds and as most people would agree, the sound and style of those albums are kind of timeless anyway.

The first track, 'Free Standing Disaster' is a beast built around a towering, monolithic riff and an ugly chanting kind of vocal screech. The magic here is in the melodic, bluesy, yet crippling heaviness that the band projects in this track. Everything is pushed to 11 or so it seems and while it is not exactly breaking any new ground, the track is five minutes of potent doomy intensity that is impossible to hate if you like the style. The following track is the best track here, it is called 'Intermission' but isn't an interlude at all, rather another gem of pulverizing doom but given a bigger dose of melody than the opening track. The demo ends on 'Crimson Hearse,' the weak track out of the three but not by much. It is traditional sludge played the way, it was meant to be played but with passion and a sense of uniqueness.

Given the shortness of the demo, it is hard to outright judge the band but these three tracks offer up enough variety to suggest an hour worth of this band could never get too tedious. The sound is great and the playing professionally executed and while the songs could benefit from some added originality, they kill just the way they are. Visit their Bandcamp page and check them out....8/10.

 Hurlbat @ Bandcamp

Doommantia Writer's Picks of 2011 ...

Alrighty, here is what some of the Doommantia writing staff have choosen for their picks of the year.

Sarp Esin....
1. The Heavy Eyes - S/T
2. Devil - Time to Repent
3. Switchblade Jesus - EP
4. Moanaa - EP
5. Been Obscene - Night O'Mine
6. Borracho - Splitting Sky
7. Valley of the Sun - Sayings of the Seers
8. Mars Red Sky - S/T
9. Signo Rojo - Promoalbum2011
10. The Devil's Blood - The Thousandfold Epicentre
11. Grime - Demo
12. Lord Stereo - S/T
13. Phantom Glue - S/T
14. Swamp Witch - Gnosis
15. The House of Capricorn - In the Devil's Days
16. Anna Coralie - Untitled
17. Beastwars - S/T
18. Ouijaouitch - Halloueen
19. Kamni - A.T.O.M.
20. Vultures at Arms Reach - +)))((()))((()))((()))-
21. Orchid - Capricorn

Andrea Contanzo ...
1. Lord Vicar "Signs Of Osiris"
2. The Wounded Kings "Chapel Of The Black Hand"
3. The Gates Of Slumber "The Wretch"
4. Black Pyramid "II"
5. Yob "Atma"
6. Sigiryia "Return To Earth"
7. Faces Of Bayon "Heart Of The Fire"
8. Serpent Venom "Carnal Altar"
9. Graveyard "Hsisngen Blues"
10. Zippo "Mak Tub"

Sandrijn van den Oever (In No Particular Order)
1. In Solitude – The World The Flesh The Devil
2. The Devil's Blood – The Thousandfold Epicentre
3. Devil – Time To Repent
4. Ancient VVisdom – A Godlike Inferno
5. Windhand – Windhand
6. Wounded Kings – In The Chapel Of The Black Hand
7. One Tail One Head – One Tail One Head
8. J Mascis – Several Shades Of Why
9. Blood Ceremony – Living With The Ancients
10. Hexvessel – Dawnbearer

Dr. Doom Metal ...
1.  Orchid – Capricorn
2.  Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats - Bloodlust
3.  Graveyard – Hisingen Blues
4.  Ice Dragon – The Sorrowful Sun
5.  The Wounded Kings – In The Chapel of The Black Hand
6.  Rwake – Rest
7.  Elder - Dead Roots Stirring
8.  The Heavy Eyes - S/T
9.  Red Fang - Murder The Mountains
10. Green & Wood - Devil's Plan
11. Arenna – Beats of Olarizu
12. Sigirya - Return to Earth
13. Saturnalia Temple – Aion of Drakon
14. Serpent Venom – Carnal Altar
15. Lord Vicar - Sings of Osiris
16. Sungrazer – Mirador
17. Atlas Moth - An Ache for the Distance
18. Wight – Wight Weedy Wight
19. Devil - Time to Repent
20. Blood Ceremony - Living with the Ancients
21. Omega Massif – Karpatia
22. Freedom Hawk – Holding On
23. Faces of Bayon - Heart of Firen
24. Krux - III: He Who Sleeps Amongst the Stars
25. Orthodox - Ba'al
26. Across Tundras - Sage
27. Subrosa – No Help for the Mighty Ones
28. Holy Mount - We Fell From the Sky
29. Dopethrone - Dark side of the Foil
30. V.Y.G.R - Hypersleep
31. Ancient VVisdom - A Godlike Inferno
32. Loss - Despond
33. Lento - Icon
34. Black Oath - The Third Aeon
35. Children of Doom - Doom, Be Doomed, or Fuck Off
36. Sun of Nothing - The Guilt of Feeling Alive
37. Cultura Tres – El Mal del Bien
38. Mournful Congregation - The Book of Kings
39. 1000mods - Super Van Vacation
40. Gates of Slumber - The Wretch
41. Black Cobra – Invernal
42. Been Obscene - Night O Mine
43. Wooden Stake - Dungeon Prayers & Tombyard Serenades
44. Brotherhood of Sleep - Dark as Light
45. Mars Red Sky – S/T
46. Pombagira - Iconoclast Dream
47. Curse the Sun - Klonopain
48. Wo-Fat - Noche del Chupacambra
49. Esoteric - Paragon of Dissonance
50. Eggnog - Moments in Vacuum

Brenden Butler ...
1. The Wounded Kings-In the Chapel of the Black Hand
2. Orchid-Capricorn
3. The Gates of Slumber-The Wretch
4. Krack Sabbat-Cult of the Slug/ The Horseless Knight
5. Yob-Atma

Marilena Moroni ...
Particularly tortured/blackened doom-Sludge
Meth Drinker
Swamp Witch

Dead existence
Bibilic Blood

Serpent Venom
Lord Vicar
Ice Dragon

Stoner and Desert Rock
Red Fang
The Heavy Eyes

Retro Psych Doom & Prog
Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats
Devil's Blood

Black metal (avantgarde, psychedelic, different)
Negative Plane
Oranssi Pazuzu
Hateful Abandon

Trve Black and blackened heavy/thrash metal
Void Meditation Cult
Ride For Revenge

Death metal
Father Befouled
Morbus Chron

Surprises of the year
Void Meditation Cult
Meth Drinker
War Iron
The Loathsome Couple

Ed Barnard
1. The Wounded Kings - In the Chapel of the Black Hand
2. The Gates of Slumber - The Wretch
3. Cardinals Folly - Such Power is Dangerous
4. Yob - Atma
5. Lord Vicar - Signs of Osiris
6. Orchid - Capricorn
7. Elder - Dead Roots Stirring
8. Loss - Despond
9. Nevertanezra - NTNR
10. Wo Fat - Noche del Chupacabra

Dec 29, 2011

Brokaw – Interiors ...

BIO: The word “Brokaw” stirs up all kinds of connotations. There’s the stern voice of reason held by news anchor Tom Brokaw, the expressive and colorful guitar playing of former Come/Codeine member Chris Brokaw…and now, the sound of one of the meatiest and meanest rock groups to emerge from Seattle, Washington.

“We chose the name because it’s simple yet has some very complex associations,” says Brokaw’s bass player Stuart Dahlquist. “And masculine which might reflect our music/composition process accurately.”

No one who has ever seen the band live would deny that they are a masculine group. The four members of Brokaw – Dahlquist, vocalist Mike Henderson, guitarist Rick Troy, and drummer Rich Medic – sweat and strain through every minute of their sets. Henderson often challenges the safety of his audience by wielding the mic stand over his and their heads, while the rest of the band churn out buzzing, brutal rock behind him. They burn so hot, you expect them to burst into flames at any moment.

And, yes, there is complexity to it as well. But we would expect nothing less from a group with the pedigree that Brokaw has. Dahlquist has worked with such iconic groups as Asva, Goatsnake, and Sunn 0))). The rest of the band are rock lifers in their own right, working in a variety of Seattle outfits like Hungry Crocodlies, Magnaaflux, and Hitshed.

But what makes the band so vital and so compelling how obviously they gel both on record and on stage. The members of Brokaw have been playing together “on and off for a very long time,” says Dahlquist. “I have been playing music with Rick for around 35 years, the two of us have worked with Mike since meeting at music school in 1984, Rich has been in and out of the picture for at least 10 years. We’ve been friends for a long time and have a great chemistry together, we all love playing music and it comes easily for us.”

You’ll hear right from the start of the band’s debut LP Interiors, to be released this fall on the new Seattle label Good To Die Records. Recorded with Steve Norman at Electrical Audio in Chicago, Illinois, Brokaw fed off the live current that runs through the band and the studio. Their hyperdriven barrage of sound pulls from the influences of the Amphetamine Reptile family (Melvins, Halo of Flies, Hammerhead, the Jesus Lizard), while acknowledging a wide variety of interests like the freeform ’70s work of Miles Davis and the swing of cheeky, literate Britpop band The Fall.

Live, on record, and in person, Brokaw put their backs, their hearts, and their balls into everything they do. They don’t ask you to do the same, just to pay your respects and enjoy every sweat-drenched minute of it. (Good To Die)

I don't normally post bio's in front of a CD review but in this case, I felt it was vital. I feel ashamed in knowing that this very good band is based in the same state where I live (Washington) and yet they have somehow escaped my attention but you know, better late than never. From the second you press play on this album from Brokaw titled 'Interiors' you get the sense this is some pretty original stuff. The band play a mix of stoner-metal, sludge, traditional hard rock, punk rock, and noise but it really sounds fresh and doesn't sound too much like anything from the past. While the band is within the realms of sludge-metal, they are very up-tempo, maybe too up-tempo to be tagged sludge but they are indeed heavy, intense at times, and have some exciting raw energy.

This album is short and very catchy so the 8 songs seem to fly by in no time at all even though it is about 30 minutes in total. From the opening 'Ambulance Red' to the last tune, 'You Didn't Invent Sex' there is not a second wasted and not a weak moment anywhere. The sound is full and constantly driving and it is very hard to get these songs out of your head once you have heard them. I can't really pick a favorite track as they are all solid tunes but there is also nothing here I would call essential but there is also nothing here that should be avoided. This might just be the shortest review I have ever done but there is not much to say about Brokaw, they are just a powerful, solid, and catchy combo that should appeal to sludge, stoner, and punk-metal crossover music fans everywhere. This album is due to drop 31 January 2012 and is on the Good to Die Records label, a label who is really delivering some great releases at the moment........8/10.

 Brokaw @ Bandcamp

CATHEDRAL Frontman On Final Studio Album ...

Brendan Crabb of Australia's Loud magazine recently conducted an interview with vocalis Lee Dorrian of the seminal U.K. doom metal act CATHEDRAL. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.

On CATHEDRAL's final studio album, "The Last Spire", which will be recorded and released in 2012:

Dorrian: "We're planning to begin recording in April. We want it out next year, because as of next year the band will be no more. We're working on material at the moment. When we get back from Australia, we'll have a good, solid month to fine-tune the songs. We'll hopefully have it released in September/October of 2012. I'm going to see our artist Dave Patchett this weekend — he does all our album covers — and just sit with him and go through all of the concepts for the album cover."

On what the next CD will sound like:

Dorrian: "Musically, I would say 'The Guessing Game' was more of a summarisation of everything we had done. 'The Last Spire' is more like our final stamp, really. I think it'll be a lot heavier and more doom-influenced than anything else we've done in recent years. But there will also be keyboards, and hopefully it'll be a really progressive doom record. I don't want to give away too much, but it'll probably be a little heavier. We'll be much more hands-on with the production. This is our last one, so we want to go out with a bang and pretty much do it ourselves because we can. The last two albums (with producer Warren Riker) turned out great. We've had producers in the past, (where) we would have some out there ideas, and some producers would just shrug their shoulders or laugh. Warren was great, (but) we want to make the last statement ourselves, like we did with the first album. A lot of people thought we were crazy to make an album like (1991's) 'Forest Of Equilibrium'. People asked us what we were doing. It was going against the grain of what was going on at the time. So we'll finish the way we started."

On his post-CATHEDRAL plans, which include overseeing his long-running record label Rise Above Records:

Dorrian: "I've done that for more than 20 years now. It's a full-time job really. I will be able to dedicate a lot more time to that, which I want to do . . We go from strength to strength; we don't sell millions of records, but we're still here. It's a testament to all the vultures and vampires in the industry that have killed it. People have been short-sold, I think… I think people see in Rise Above that you can discover things yourself, without just being told about it by the hype of the (mainstream) media. We do this out of love for the music and I think people are slowly coming around to that. We try to make our releases, things like our vinyl releases special. I've been collecting records since I was eight or nine and I always like to put myself on the other side of the fence. I think about how as a fan myself, how I would like it to be presented. I spend a lot of time thinking about that. If Rise Above wasn't the label I started, I would be a fan of it myself."

On how the music industry's current woes, including illegal downloading, have affected Rise Above:

Dorrian: "Despite all the chaos in the industry and people saying downloading is killing the industry, bigger labels should have given greater thought to their audience. It's just the way you control it, really. There's pros and cons to downloading. People who like labels like Rise Above want to have an artefact, a physical copy from the label in their hands. We have a steady audience around the world who buys our records; in the past few years, we've sold the most records we ever have. If you're a commercial label, your audience doesn't really care about things like production or artwork. There's not much dedication from the label or the audience. If it's presented in a way that's a lot more sincere, I think people respond to it. The No. 1 album in the charts that week, you can buy that in the supermarket along with your toilet roll. To buy our releases, you have to go out of your way to find out about it and find out how to buy it."

On possible future musical endeavors:

Dorrian: "Any new musical projects will be spontaneous. Once CATHEDRAL is finally over, I want to sit down and spend a few months to a year, reflecting on what the band's done. When you're doing it, you're always so busy; you're always having to think about the next thing you're doing. So it will be good to do that."

Read the entire interview from Loud magazine.

Dec 28, 2011

SubRosa - No Help For The Mighty Ones ...

The latest album from Salt Lake City's SubRosa is one that I somehow missed over the past year. The problem was their previous album, 'Strega' didn't do much for more so I didn't go out of my way to hear anymore from this band but it seems I made a bit of a mistake. This album titled 'No Help for the Mighty Ones' is no masterpiece in my book but it is a big step from their other recordings, at least according to my tastes. What is curious and interesting is this band gets more mixed reviews than most other bands. A quick Google search and you will see this album gets called brilliant by some and downright boring by others so I am intrigued, what is it about this band that creates such varied reactions.

I think one of the elements that might be a turn-off for some is the heavy guitars tend to be in the background to everything else in the band which is an odd approach for a doom and sludge kind of band, which is what SubRosa is. The vocals are a little off-kilter and quirky while the band itself is rather unconventional with three women and two guys in the band. Whether that plays a role in how the songs sound I don't know but there is something unique about this band that at times is perhaps too unique for its own good. 'No Help for the Mighty Ones' is a slow and lumbering album with an emphasis on haunting melodies and discordant violin work and like I said before, the guitars tend to take a back-seat most of the time. Most of the songs are built around repetition and the less-is-more approach - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

There is no question that this album has an infectious charm with some of its melodies which is the albums strong-suit. The album opening 'Borrowed Time, Borrowed Eyes' has a chilling melody that sends a shiver up the spine and is totally mesmerizing but the instrumentation is kind of ordinary. The band can play and are all very capable musicians but there is little on this track to get excited about from a musical point of view. However that opening track and the following 'Beneath the Crown' are the albums highlights for me, over in the first 14 minutes of the album. The album is at its best when it is at its heaviest and most doom-laden, I am not saying that because I dig doom, it is just because the album falls a little flat when it takes unconventional detours.

The biggest offender is 'House Carpenter' which I think is an old folk song. There is nothing wrong with throwing the listener a curve-ball now and then but in this case, they would have been better off leaving this 3 minutes off the album, I just don't like it at all. Elsewhere the album is up and down in quality and all within the same songs. 'Attack On Golden Mountain' is the pick of the bunch for the rest of the album while 'Stonecarver' is also an interesting track. 'Dark Country' has a great haunting feel but over-stays its welcome after 8 minutes. The rest of the album is not bad at all but not overwhelmingly good either.

This album is offbeat, dissonant and a little odd while still keeping the traditional doom metal boundaries in check. Even the vocal harmonies (which sound totally off in places) are unique and while there are some excellent passages, there are also equal amounts of boredom. Having stigmatized the album with my own point of view, I have to be fair and say that some people will adore this album. I tend to think of them as Bloody Panda meets Earth but you can make up your own mind. Half good, half ordinary and tedious but always interesting and unique, SubRosa's 'No Help For The Mighty Ones' is an album that despite its flaws takes a big-step from earlier works so if you liked them before, you should go crazy for them now.........7/10.

SubRosa Official

Cough – Sigillum Luciferi ...

Cough is one of those bands that you can’t not run into once you get into doom.  They will be in your face as you take your first steps into the vast, miserable ocean of the genre, and their name is very present and out there.  There are two types of bands that demand this kind of attention simply by existing: those that are hyped too much and are made out to be this big thing, and those that are this big because they have merit.

Cough falls into the second category.  The merit in their blend of the art of making misery is what sets them so high, and, for the record, Cough is one of the finest bands out there, period.  Without sliding any further down the slippery slope of fan-bias, let us continue.

At the core of Cough’s music is filth and misery.  The centerpiece of every song is the down-tuned guitars agonizingly churning out low-tempo riffs of dooooooooom - chord-slams, feedback, sludge-like lurches forward and snail-pace grooves.  The bass supports the guitar admirably.  The drumming, especially given the very low speeds at which most songs go about their business, is astonishing, as it finds a way to play with the otherwise very steady rhythms.  Another good thing is the vocals.  Admittedly, the vocals have two main modes, throaty, sort of mid-pitched screaming and the clean ‘singing.’ The clean vocals have a very good range, from doomy, stretched-out shouting to gentle croons, but the mid-pitched bellows of daemons is what sells the vocals.

“Sigillum Luciferi” is one of those albums that is impossible to break down song-by-song.  Oh, I can do it, alright, it just wouldn’t be any good. Instead, I will focus on this album as a whole, which is where my first point lies.  “Sigillum Luciferi” isn’t a collection of songs, it is an album.  It is a coherent whole and at no point do you believe you are listening to anything other than a Cough record.

The atmosphere is miserable, and I do mean the black-hue-and-haze, overbearing, no-hope-in-life, worn-out-in-a-back-alley miserable.  It’s sinister, slow darkness feels like slowly being choked and worse still, liking it.  It’s like loving a noose in its filth, and it’s delicious.  Of course, this is aided by how the riffs themselves are structured, as each one seems to have been tailor-fitted to induce as much misery as possible.  Therein, Cough’s strength appears: “Sigillum Luciferi” is a very refined, very well-thought out effort.  Each song is structured in the way each riff is structured – careful, though natural and heavy without fail.  Each section is refined into a hypnotic, nigh-ritualistic dirge made of repetition and back-and-forth between the few riffs.  This same structure applies to where the songs are placed: after the head-crushing pure beauty of “Hole in the Infinite,” for instance, we are offered solace in the lumbering, sludge-like riff and even pacing of “288 Years of Sin” which, in itself, leads to the utterly lethargic “Northern Plague.”

“Northern Plague” is followed up by a perfect example of how in “Sigillum Luciferi” each part transitions smoothly into each other, so much so that the entire song feels like the natural output of a guitar/bass/drum-strapped beast let loose in his natural habitat.  See, the fifth track, “Shallow Grave” is a case-in-point.  It begins as a doomy Cough dirge: nice monolith riff, slow pacing, but, after a few minutes, the band teases with a bit of playful groove in the riff, before returning to the starter. Then, out of nowhere, the pace suddenly hits an upper-mid-tempo and the band launches into catchy, foot-stomping grooves, and embellish this section further with a burning solo before returning to the initial riff, and then slowly degenerating that into feedback and noise by gradually slowing it down.  It’s genius!

However, for those that may think this is a riff-tastic doom-fest: sorry, but the riffs on this beast are few.  But never mind that, because here, less is undoubtedly more.  See, it’s one thing to make ten, twelve-minute songs with the same two riffs, quite another to make both count in such a way that you are left satisfied.  Returning to the earlier point about structure, the songs themselves have a peculiar quality, in that you can safely drift away from a song, let your mind waver, and it will find a way to snap you back to attention, and you won’t wonder what song you’re on.  That’s a rare and incredible feat, in my book.

A further point emerges right here.  Cough use a lot of feedback.  Hell, the opener, “Killing Fields” is about three and a half minutes of feedback cut by single chords and single drum hits.  In the other songs, like “Shallow Grave”s closing salvoes or some of “Lyssavirus,” the band use feedback to gradually eat away at the remnants of a riff until nothing is left. Their ability to refine that noise into actual riffs and doing it so naturally and so without abrasive transitions is a very good trait of this album.  Further, a convention that was present in “Ritual Abuse” also makes an appearance (in “Lyssavirus” specifically) which is to say that before beginning the initial riff, the guitar plays a stripped-down, almost test-tab version of it for a bit.  It’s a nice trick that creates a jammy impression and fits the album.

SO, OVERALL, WHY SHOULD YOU LISTEN TO THIS? Easy.  It’s one of the best doom records out there, along with “Ritual Abuse.” That’s simply it, no two ways about it.  This record is cut from a different cloth, and cut out to be well fucking worth the almost-hour (57 minutes, to be precise) that it will take from your life in the first listen, and many more almost-hours it will take by virtue of its sheer addictive properties. It doesn’t stray far from where it is comfortable, yeah, but you wouldn’t want it to, anyway. I don’t know how else I can say “perfect,” really, so stop reading this, and go listen to this album.  Go.  Now.  10/10

Words: Sarp Esin

Official Cough Facebook

Dec 27, 2011

INTERVIEW: The Evil Cosmonaut Has Landed ...

Evil Cosmonauts (Moscow, Russia) quietly and swiftly took their rightful place on moscovian underground hard and doom / stoner rock scene; and if you ever heard that authoritatively heavy riffs and insane rock drive with sheer innovative absurd sci-fi conception then it’ll be impossible to forget the band. Personages of black and white American fantastic movies from era of 50th face harsh Russian reality in the songs of Evil Cosmonaut, so if original giant ants were free to chase and consume screaming beauties in bikinis, here are the insectoid hordes are crushed by caterpillars of tank driven by resurrected and timeless Boris Yeltsin. Aleksey “Kaza” Kazachev – the man who sings and pulls the strings – is on-line today! And I hope that he has answers for all of my questions.

Salute comrades! Congratulations on a successful landing – the first Evil Cosmonaut album "We Have Landed" is in stores now and as far as I'm concerned it's the mail achievement of domestic cosmonautics yet. How long did it take you to make such a scientific breakthrough? Identify the researchers involved in the project development please.

-Hello. It took us three years to release the album. In the meantime our vision of HOW should we write songs, WHICH songs should we write and finally HOW those songs should sound like, have changed numerous times. That's why the album includes our songs from the different periods and accordingly almost every song has some sort of a malicious intent to it. Some of the songs can be grouped in categories though. Names of the researchers have been revealed a long time ago, it's Alexey "Kaza" Kazachev on guitar and vocals, Denis "Memphis" Petrov on bass and Konstantin Sosnin on drums. The line–up is immutable since the day of the band's inception.

"We Have Landed" isn't your first record, is it? There was some sort of a demo also. How did you promote it? I've only seen one review and suppose you didn't do much for your product promotion so what was the moving force behind the project then?

-There's a four-song demo which have never seen the light of day as a physical copy. Nonetheless it gave us an opportunity to start giggin' almost immediately. We didn't promote anything. The only known place where we shared our demo was the message board; what happened to it since then remains a mystery. We've received a few letters from such countries like Poland with offers to send 'em a CD to receive a praising review in return. But, fuck, honestly I just can't fucking believe there are people interested in wasting a hour or two of their lives to send a CD overseas from the nearest post office just so they can enjoy the review full of drooling over specific musicological terms like "supersonic ultrafuzz electric holocaust" somewhere on a godforsaken second level domain site. That's fucked up, haha. It's not a question of profit. I am just too lazy for it.

I'm telling you, there ARE people like that. And it's quite pleasant to receive a CD from such a person. :-) But tell, what result do you expect with an attitude like this? Message board internet-promotion is enough for you? It is doubtful whether the gigs are much helpful in attracting new listeners' burning hearts.

-We're not expecting anything special nor from our band's activities nor, I think, from life at all, haha. The process itself brings the joy in the first place. Anyway, we reassess the attitude towards the promotion of our music at the moment. It's clear as day that if we want to "reinforce our positions" we have to act somehow. Although I still don't know how to do it on our own but I believe the realization is soon to come. We're heading towards some kind of independence lately; I mean we try to limit the number of persons allowed into the music writing and recording process as well as "administration".
Unfortunately the possibility of an accidental Evil Cosmonaut gig attendance by the potential future listener is insignificantly small, usually attendees are well-prepared and digging it already. That's why I like the idea of playing with bands from the different but spiritually close scenes. Why don't we try that? There haven't been many gigs like that. Though the scene doesn't stew in its own juice, the boundaries are too tight which is good only for a start.

Regarding the promotion, I hear an opinion that contribution to the DoomMetalFront mp3-compilation "Eastern Doomination" ruined the reputation of some bands. The compilation also features your song called "Armageddon" from the new album so what do you think? Do you feel the fatal recession in CD sales?

-Never heard that. What kind of a reputation are you talking about? When we perform that or another song, contribute/do not contribute to any compilation, play any gig we'd rather listen to our hearts or voices in our heads or the Providence itself – call it whatever you please – than look back at the listener's expectations. Reputation is a deep-rooted pattern of behavior that doesn't allow any variation. Reputation is for, let's say, the politicians. And any "negative" deeds can damage their reputation. For example, the politician was caught on tape naked in a woman's embrace. Who could have imagined, the deputy fucks. A woman. Reputation is ruined. Failure. Fiasco. So, we don't have any behavior limitations. Today we like something; tomorrow we change our minds and do it the different way. At some point we wanted our song to appear on the DoomMetalFront compilation so it appeared there. If someone feels offended and turns up his nose at it for some unknown reason, we're not responsible for that.

That opinion generally sums up in a complaint about the compilation title featuring the word "Doom" while some contributors doesn't represent the genre, stoner bands, for example; and that's not “true and evil”... so the listener might be confused.

-Well, firstly we're not a doom band. And in the second place the DMF compilation release is such an insignificant event both for the history and our mental equilibrium that I am even unfamiliar with this awful ideological strife. Anyway, I'm glad if 5-10 knowing lads have heard us thanks to the compilation.

You may not believe but I’m one of these few! Aleks, how would you describe Evil Cosmonaut’s ideology in a nutshell, using only the movie and book titles? It's clear that we're not just thinking in a music genre categories so let's dig deeper – what are you about indeed? Absurd infantilism, antisocial destructivism, cosmogenic impressionism or what else it might be...

-Every of the aforementioned terms fit our music equally. We're not into the cumbrous classifications, structuring and labeling. Moreover, we find the idea of musicians telling the listeners how to perceive their work utterly absurd. It makes sense as much as pointing out the funny moment of the joke to laugh at. If the music induces the subconscious positive physiological reactions in the individual, he would find his own interpretation during the listening experience, in case he wants to. That's great. As the sausage tastes different to everyone.

Sure you'll agree that Evil Cosmonaut follows the certain concept. If you want to know my opinion it looks like an old american sci-fi movie with the absurd post-soviet plot. How such a combination has been born?

-Glad you’ve discerned one of the key moments. The combination was born from our passion to the world cinematography in its most fucked up hypostasis. And of course our place of abode with its entire legacy at least suggests, if not dictates the story motifs. Actually, sci-fi in the space-only sense of meaning has more to do with the demo, and only partially with the album. Now we cover wider range of themes following the “innovations” in the music part.

Don’t you think themes like that can turn boring soon? Like a joke told twice isn’t really a joke anymore.

-I think crossing a bridge when one comes to it is the wise tactics. At the moment we’re not bothered with the various sci-fi motifs and healthy everyday dementia synthesis in our lyrics. Especially when the flight of fancy is almost unlimited ‘cause we don’t reduce the sci-fi to the UFOs and alcoholic cosmonauts only. When we’ll feel like singing about the unhappy love affair or retelling the latest news from the political world written in verse – be sure we’ll do it.

How such themes like the battle of Boris Yeltsin with the giant ants even come to mind? Despite the absurdity of such song topics it has to be noticed that killer “Armageddon” track is the paraphrase of the movie of the same name, which is dumb enough you would find it hard to make it any dumber! What an amazing find!

-All the lyrics are written by our bassist Denis. Usually in the burst of enthusiasm, one time and with minimal further corrections. He does it from time to time. I mean, in the moments of the divine revelation. There are no lyrics the final versions of which we aren't completely satisfied with; not a single one written “because fuck you”. If the revelation doesn't dawn upon Denis we are about to wait until it comes. It can take us half a year. Even the year, once. So it was with Yeltsin. Lyrics were written spontaneously in the period of time we were much inspired by the video-evidences of Boris Yeltsin's divine nature. The main part of the music was played “by itself” by the end of the shitty ineffectual rehearsal. So, there was some sort of the intervention definitely.
As of the “Armageddon” you’re dead right, all the degenerative work on the viewers’ brain-melting has been done by the script writer and the director already, my compliments to them for it. It was literally impossible not to catch at this story.

I've seen the tubes with our cosmonauts food ration at Polytechnic Museum in Moscow – would you eat that shit in tubes? Maybe the cosmonaut is evil because of dyspepsia?

-Sure I would. I think the food from the tubes is far healthier than any crap you buy in stores. You can't feed the shit to the cosmonaut because if you do he wouldn't fix the ship skin, he wouldn't give his regards to the family via television space bridge, he wouldn't help his partner fasten up the spacesuit. He'd zip himself up in a sleeping bag and say: “Fuck off”. And no one would like it that way. The cosmonaut isn't evil because of dyspepsia. His nature is evil. He's born evil.

Your songs are recorded with hard rock negligence, melodies are redneck-like straightforward but the kind of music you play is rooted in the era of psychedelia triumph – ever considered writing anything blazing and extremely colorful based on the strong countryside mushroom broth?

-Well that is possible.

Where the hell did you get that juicy cover and artwork for “We Have Landed”? Forced the elementary school pupils to do it to save some money?

-Haha no. Cover and booklet was completely hand-made by us. Yes, I mean it: we bought shitload of plasticine and plastered, plastered and plastered ‘til we gone mad. Originally we wanted some qualified artist to handle these duties but fortunately did realize opportunely that no one knows what we want better than we ourselves. And we're immensely satisfied with the result.

Was any song from “We Have Landed” difficult to record?

-No. We don't need technically filigree execution and don't use metronome. It cancels most of the difficulties.

You were making buzz on our doom scene for quite some years now, how do you find your positions on it? Strong middling? Up-and-coming doom stars?

-We rate our band among the fucking awesome.

And what's the criterion of the fucking awesomeness?

-Only criterion that matters is the fact we're sincerely enjoying our music. We see how guys at our gigs are rocking out and rock out even more. We're not from that part of underground where CD sales, press rate etc serve as a criterion.

Do you care how listeners define your music or self-identification is more important? I mean, do you find “doom”, “stoner”, “metal”, “russian rock” terminology important?

-For us, terminology doesn't matter at all besides some absolutely absurd tags. And I even think terminology is better used minimally. Fucking “stoner rock” tag distracted me from istening to countless quantities of albums last years for example. But most likely there might be some masterpieces.

And how important is the western community appraisal for you? Or do you figure on our audience despite the fact people are often too lazy to bother themselves buying a CD or attending a gig?

-Western community appreciation is important beyond all measure. Our dearest wish is to play overseas that's why we're signed to the West-oriented label in the first place. It would be stupid to dissociate ourselves from our public who supports us constantly and at the end of the day is comprised of a good amount of funniest persons. An important evidence of the movement and interested people who need this all – Redburn festival which took place in October.
We don't give a shit about CDs sales volume. Our prime and sole goal is to give an opportunity to hear our music for the possible maximum of listeners by all means. And the unquestionable winner in this category is the .mp3 format. Owning a physical copy with the great artwork is a very pleasant feeling. But I don't really think it's necessity.

Do we have to wait for the new material or Evil Cosmonaut will unleash the fury of the new set-list next year?

-We're writing songs for our second album actively at the moment. Hope it will be out in 2012. Some of these songs we've already played at Redburn and definitely will be playing again.

Let's get finished for this time – thanks for the conversation! By the way there are some time and a little space left for the Final Words Of Wisdom for our thoughtful and patient readers. How would you handle that?

Well thanks in return! I wish all the readers to avoid any forced activities and an imposed lifestyle, doing only those things you feel like doing. It's right and good.

Interview By Aleks Evdokimov (Metal Library)


Dec 26, 2011

End of Year CD Giveaway ...

Doommantia is already one of the cheapest outlets for doom CD's so I can't reduce the price anymore so here is the deal. Buy any CD from the store and you will get one of equal value for free, zero, nothing, zilch!!! The sale is on for one month only. I need to clear some stock to make way for new titles expected in the next two to three months. By the way, the store is moving to its own dot com, more info on that soon. Visit the webstore....

PS: Prices include shipping, no hidden costs.

Septic Mind - The True Call ...

This is the second album from Russian based funeral doom band Septic Mind and if you know anything about funeral doom, especially Russian funeral doom, then you will know what you are going to get and it is not a bouncy, cheery, riff-rock album. This is a churning, plodding, lumbering funeral doom album injected with huge doses of mind-bending psychedelia and the songs are so heavy and so long, it is overwhelmingly exhausting getting through the three epic tracks on offer. The band sit on the stoner-doom end of the funeral doom scale and if you have heard their earlier album, 'The Beginning' and like it, then you should hear this as the natural follow-up as the only style change is this is an even bleaker slab of funeralized doom.

Septic Mind don't screw-around as the opening 25 minute title track demonstrates and if you do get through this track and still want to hear more, then you are truly an "extreme funeral-doom" fan. This monster track is mostly crushing doom that is dripping with LSD and H.P Lovecraft worship. Musically the ideas and arrangements contained within don't call for its nearly half-hour's playing time as it drags in places but at times this is a gripping, sometimes frightening funeral soundtrack. Luckily for listeners out there, they mix it up just enough. There is some floating, almost dream-like passages that keep up a hypnotic vibe but this beast moves in slow-motion at all times. The track doesn't fully get going at all till the 10 to 12 minute point in the piece where guitars start mutating themselves into something truly psychedelic but make no mistake, this is funeral doom at its bleakest and not for the timid doom-metal fan. The first time I listened to this track, it was 6 in the morning, freezing cold and the air was thick with fog and this was a perfect soundtrack for that.

The second track, 'Doomed to Sin' is 18 minutes in length so it is another extended dose of doomed despondency. This track begins with a lighter, more positive vibe but it is not long before the band begins a sprawling, skull-cracking exercise in crippling doom. There are otherworldly dark passages that are bleak yet psychedelic but the essence of the track is progressive, sinister doom-metal and while they do tend to stretch songs beyond their breaking point, it is still immensely captivating. The band use the extended playing times of each track wisely, letting the songs unwind in an organic kind of way but still the patience threshold is pushed to the limit, constantly testing the listener. The last track, almost seems like a breeze to get through in comparison to the other two epics even though this one is still almost 15 minutes long.

'Planet is Sick' is easily the most accessible track out of the three and it is almost cheerful compared to the rest of the album. The band shows they are expanding and moving away from their original funeral doom influences and developing their own unique sound on this track. They paint a musical picture of psychedelic landscapes while keeping the devastating funeral-doom at the very center of their style. What makes this more psychedelic than most other funeral-doom acts is the bizarre growling vocals coupled with melodic guitar work. 'The True Call' is a little but still significant step-up from their last album. Musically there is major growth and the instrumentation shows real signs of a band becoming masters of their craft. What impressed me the most though is this not just another typical Russian funeral doom band, they have something happening now that is different from the endless supply of funeral, goth, and death doom bands that are currently emerging from the Russian doom scene and for that reason alone, this stands out as one of the very best releases coming from the Solitude Productions stable of bands. This is a must-hear situation....8.5/10

Septic Mind @
Solitude Productions

Trendslaughter Festival II January 29th Info ...

This news just in from Mahesh and Cyclopean Eye Productions....

Press Release:
ABIGAIL (Japan), CAUCHEMAR (Canada) and DYING EMBRACE (India) have just been confirmed to headline the second TRENDSLAUGHTER FEST on January 29th 2012, in Bangalore, India. According to the organizers (Cyclopean Eye Productions/Trendslaughter crew), the festival has been created to “bring Bangalore the best of underground metal by getting both foreign acts and local bands together and thereby creating a rock solid underground movement to spearhead the Heavy metal culture in India.” The fest will also have local support from Death/Grind band Gorified, old school Deathmetallers Dwesha and Drone/Space Doom rockers Djinn and Miskatonic.

Last year the TRENDSLAUGHTER FEST was headlined by Bangladeshi bestial death/thrash metallers band Orator with local bands Dying Embrace, Bevar Sea, Culminant and Gorified and saw around 200+ fans congregate at the venue at Kyra Theatre, Bangalore, India for a good 8 hours Stoner, Thrash, Brutal Death metal, Death Grind, Doom and Old school Death metal!

Headliners Information :

About Abigail:
ABIGAIL is a Japanese black thrash metal outfit that was formed in January of 1992 by Yasuyuki (bass / vocals), Youhei (drums) and Yasunori (guitar) being inspired by early Black / Thrash Metal bands like BATHORY, VENOM, SODOM, BULLDOZER, HELLHAMMER, NME etc. From 1999, the band has heavily toured Europe, Asia, USA countless times appearing on big festivals like Hell Fest, and NWN Fest (Nuclear War Now) among others. The band has nearly 70 releases (which includes full length cds, splits, compilation and live cds/lps) and is one of the most well known bands in Japan today.

About Cauchemar:
Cauchemar was founded in 2007 as a collaboration between vocalist Annick Giroux and guitarist François Patry. With the goal of producing eerie, no-frills doomy Heavy Metal, the project eventually turned into a band with the addition of Patrick Pageau (ASILE, ex-BASTARDATOR guitarist) on drums. They have released in 2010 the "La Vierge Noire" MLP on American label Nuclear War Now! Productions, toured Canada, Colombia, Chile and Peru, and are currently writing material for a new album.

About Dying Embrace:
Legendary pioneering Death/Doom act from Bangalore have been in existence for twenty years with releases on international labels (7” vinyl on Legion Of Death Records, France, compliation CD on Psychic Scream, Malaysia) and have had the title of being India’s oldest Death Metal band. This is one band that brings both old metal heads (30+ years olds into Sabbath, Maiden, Priest) and the new breed of metal heads together.

Links to all bands:
Abigail - Abigal @ Myspace
Cauchemar- Cauchemar @ Facebook
Dying Embrace - Dying Embrace @ YouTube
Gorified - Glorified @ Myspace
Dwhesha - Dwhesha @ Myspace
Djinn and Miskatonic - Djinn and Miskatonic @ Soundcloud

For further details you can contact...
Sandesh Shenoy (Cyclopean Eye Productions)

Dec 25, 2011

Free Solitude Productions, Slow Burn, and BadMoodMan Compilations ...

Solitude Productions / BadMoodMan Music and Slow Burn Records presents new 2011 promo compilations. Each compilation – is a label’s summary for a 2011 year. All presented tracks are FULL no cuts this time. Compilations won’t be released on CD format and only available as a FREE digital download.

 01. Mare Infinitum – Sea Of Infinity (9:47)
02. Funeral – Your Pain Is Mine (7:47)
03. Heavy Lord – Fear The Beard (7:53)
04. Stangala – Al Lidou Esoterik An Dolmen Hud (7:36)
05. Fangtooth – Father (5:53)
06. Night Of Suicide – Desire (11:05)
07. Abstract Spirit – Post Mortem (11:20)
08. Comatose Vigil – Autophobia (23:15)
09. The Undergrave Experience – Mater Mortalis Tenebrarum (24:21)
10. Septic Mind – Doomed To Sin (18:43)
FREE Download here: Bandcamp

01. In Loving Memory – Even A God Can Die (6:43)
02. (Echo) – The Coldest Land (9:09)
03. Raventale – These Days Of Sorrow (5:50)
04. Kamlath – One Tired Wise (6:45)
05. The Sullen Route – Hysteria (5:37)
06. Tears Of Mankind – So Long And Recently (8:22)
07. Benighted In Sodom – Chains Of Bliss (7:30)
08. The Morningside – The Trees: Part One (12:38)
FREE Download here: Bandcamp

 01. Grown Below – Trojan Horses They Ride (13:39)
02. Grown Below – Devoid Of Age (4:10)
03. Fading Waves – Destroying The Time (8:13)
04. Fading Waves – Perforate The Sky (9:08)
05. Reido – Arhat (4:46)
06. Reido – Degeneration Cycle (5:54)
07. Drawers – Caput Mortuum Ocean (4:16)
08. Drawers – Ivory Lighthouse (6:47)
09. Somnolent – Chrysakis Verge (Part II Tearing Out) (6:57)
10. Somnolent – Solipsistic Exfolation (7:15)
11. Starchitect – Light (3:51)
12. Starchitect – Silence (7:37)
FREE Download here: Bandcamp

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