Jan 31, 2012

Enter The Worms: Interview With Ego Depths ...

"Project Ego Depths, whose releases came out on the Russian and Ukraine underground labels from it's very beginning caused me some questions. And true to say I already had my own answers because of habit to hear same boring common pathetic hypothesis from guys who play similar stuff. Yes, really, Ego Depths is Ukraine / Canadian one man band project and from the start I had my prejudice about it. But to my own amusement this interview with Stigmatheist, one and only member of Ego Depths, isn't so naive and boring as I supposed to get! I did dare to ask some provoking questions in my ignorance and the I faced indeed impressive and brave answers. In fact there are much more of interesting ideas were hiding behind black curtain of that slow and dark music. So I hope that you'll get from this discussion as much fun as I got.
In addition - few days ago Ego Depths and another Russian death doom act Who Dies In Siberian Slush released brand new split-CD "Four Fragments of Fading Life" which is also available for download. The link is below, so you're free to check it while reading this doom-revelation.
Comrade Stigmatheist is in our studio today! Bring it on, man".


Q: Salut, Stigmatheist! How are you doing? Frankly speaking, just for myself (first of all) I wanted to get an answer for the following question: geographically speaking, the home countries of your project Ego Depths are Ukraine & Canada. Why and how did you manage to do that?


-Hello! Thanks, everything is alright on my side.

… The story is quite simple in itself: I collected some money for a ticket, bought it, and then packed my suitcase and - voila! I am here. But if you mean the certain preconditions and reasons, here the story turns to be more interesting? First of all I am a chemist according to my professional background. Being a fan of science since my childhood, I grew up in the relevant environment which wasn?t completely scientific, but it favored me to get the required information. It helped me a lot in developing my own interests and, as a result, guided me to the right choice of profession. So, when the moment of truth arrived, I had chosen a few universities around the world and sent my data along with the application form to them. That wasn?t so easy, but the first one to answer was the University of Montreal. So, since then I am here, finishing my Phd in physical chemistry. I cannot say that it was my dream to arrive here and live „till the end of my days, but for now I must admit that Canada became my second homeland.

Summarizing, it can be said, that the primary reasons were scientific only and then followed by the other ones, less important.

Q: After you moved to Canada, did you feel that the self-expression through music shall embody some other form? Has the geographical factor affected the inspiration? Or the negative states of your consciousness, which obviously push you to create, are the same everywhere?

-It depends on the definition of the “negative state”. I hadn't any special feelings about the fact that my music is going to change its shape or form. As soon as I initiated the work on new material, that guy was the same me as I was before and I am now, but the tools and the knowledge, which I started to use more efficiently and wisely, have changed. It is more correct to say that they have improved. The ability to hear the music of others has been developed; I began “to hear more”, than ever before. At the same time, I have learned to hear and understand myself more clearly and accurately. Nevertheless, the geographical factor influenced me, but the fact itself is supported by the time-dependent changes inside me. I stopped earning the inspiration from the typical “negative emotions” and mournful suicidal tendencies, so widely used by th e modern underground musicians. More deeply I was carried away by the human being, his role in the nature and universe, in the fractal world organization, finalement… A lot of interesting information I perceive from the science.

Q: How do you see from that shore that hell which is going on in Ukraine?

-I see it quite funny through the tears, but not full of joy. I check the news regularly and the situation there is nothing but crap, which from time to time improves or disproves itself. Because for now I live in the different society, I have different point of view and can clearly see all paints of that crap in full color, but I cannot change even a smallest thing in this case (except myself, but that is not going to help in our country).

Q: I've got a chance to visit your website (btw, website for a metal band is a rare thing, why not bandcamp?) and I read there, that “the conception lies in the process of self-cognition”. Don't you think that within the scope of extreme metal genres this turns only to uncovering of the “dark side” which is rarely conceived from a view nowadays?

Well, website is not that rare thing which should be avoided, the same concerns about facebook.com and vkontakte.ru\vk.com. I?m still having a lack of time to set the bandcamp properly… Getting back to “the dark side”… Exactly, it is all about usual swirling around this term. The common definition behind is completely inflicted and has solidified with years in the body of extreme music genre, the stereotype, if you want. From the other side, maybe it happens because on behalf of the dark side it is possible to manifest the most sincere (pure) feelings and emotions, not blended with artificiality and hypocrisy (as an opposite to another term “love”, for example)? Perhaps, that is the reason of everybody?s following this direction. But of course everything is relative and you may not agree…

-Yes, I don't. Practically, the so-called “dark side” is nothing more than an easiest approach. Well, let's get back to the question of self-cognition. What was the after effect of this process for you (of course if it is not the simple and common d efinition)? Analysing yourself it appears to be logical to ask the question: What is the condition of my mind? Which skills I do own and what is on my way to show them up? The results of the search should be worked off.

-The main obstacle on the way of manifestation of our abilities is our unawareness about the latter, because we cannot be aware about something without trying it out and studying yourself a bit. After achieving some information about our skills and abilities on the concrete example, we go forth, because of the inquisitiveness of our mind, it is starting to be the main driving force in your moving ahead, being warmed up and blurred by some “half-a-success”, doing mistakes which lead to a variety of consequences, not exactly negative. We call it “experience”. If in time you?re going to hold your horses, the experience will become a strong fundament for your future actions and accomplishments.

So here, the self-cognition is more like a common term and not formulating something particular example or narrow field of research. My example is still on going and someday it will set its real shape, but after I will stop existing, because until my last breath I will be developing myself. It is sufficient to add, that creating music helps you to take a look on yourself from aside, but what exactly you will be able to make out and understand and use later – that is the personal matter of every one. The same picture may be seen everywhere, not exactly in music, in any source of information by the means of creativity.
Q: Would you agree that the Ego Depths has debuted quite successfully? Arx Productions released your first full-length album “Equilibrium Sickness”; Endless Winter helped with the release of your split-CDs, one with Dispersive Light called “Follow the Skua”, and now, the one with Aura Hiemis and Sculptor. It is a successive and serious approach. Does this approach fulfil the ambitions of your Ego?

-Of course it does for all 98%, because it is the Ego with its ambitions and prejudices which have to be satisfied. They drive the man to act leaving behind some unsolved questions and using them as initiators for the next step up, which is also fuelled by the sweet aftertaste of the previous successful satisfaction of the few Ego?s ambitions. I was very lucky with my debut and that means a lot for me. Speaking about the “Equilibrium Sickness” release, you?re egging the listeners on: “Stop simply looking with your eyes, start feeling the pain deep in your brain”. Is this a call to accept yourself as you are or an attempt to really force the listener to self- analysis and thinking?

-Yes, it is the call to accept yourself as you are now; who you were before; who you may become. Speaking simply, all of us are miserable at our worse hour. And this is the call to compare and experience the side from which is better to carry out the self- comparison. It is the call for audacity, without which the self-analysis and self-development are impossible. It is the call to live. This is the call to accept the life free from stuck forms, images, algorithms and wanna-be conception. Also, there is a warning about the ugliness of such way, but the verity justifies its price and grants the freedom, which was impossible to reach by any other way. Understanding the “meaning of your life for you” will not let you losing the time.



Q: Why have you chosen the doom/death/funeral genre as a display of your “freedom”? Does it really fit the embodiment of your priorities?

First of all, I was impassioned by exactly this genre since my early days of getting into the extreme music. I grew up on this music. I was listening and analysing, in other words I did all my best to make it a part of me. And I am not offering a “freedom”, per contra I release just the call, a tool or even just a spark, which should help to initiate, to nudge. And finally, playing the slow and heavy music – what can be better? Btw, regarding the music of Ego Depths I heard the mixed epithet like “experimental”. Were there any experiments on “Equilibrium Sickness”? At my point, cover version of MDB?s “Sear Me” is more like a common established stereotype.

-Ok, about the cover… I have added into the song my own piece, during which I am narrating the English version of lyrics. I believe by doing this, the song started to sound more like my vision, where I present exactly “cover in honour of” but not the “copy of”.

And about the experimentalism, I have never followed any revolutionary ideas, because it is a way to the burning flame. To experiment on smth is to do something you are able to do and achieve afterwards something you never were aware of. Here and after, my answer is yes, I did experiment on a lot of things. I used some dissonant chords and intervals, let?s say, during the composition of solo lines, as an opposite to the common harmonic ones with the only aim to smooth the border between “perfect” and “imperfect”, and pour it there into the reek of moor. I tried to make a theme following and development not in the traditional manner, but in completely opposite direction or at least in non-repeating the common trends. Could we associate this with the experiments? The listener decides. I would not care anymore about the music in the case if I could fully accomplish the aim by the method give/receive. The component of experimentation in creativity is always present. Experimentation with the purpose of synthesis, as a matter of your experience fixation point, is the way to go.

Q: And the next question I want to ask is about your country-fellows on the split CD “Follow the Skua”. Did you know anybody of them before your move to Canada?

-Unfortunately, I did not. We have started the communication over the Myspace with subsequent continuing via the email. I liked their debut material (which is not easy!) and suggested that it would be nice to combine our material into a split CD. At that moment I had almost finished the fresh material, guys from DL accepted the idea enthusiastically and we decided to give this collaboration a chance. We found Endless Winter who agreed to release our work in March 2010. I really enjoy the combination of the material we were able to do, despite the quality of my realisation. I have got a lesson and obtained a valuable experience.

-Again, according to your site information, the music of Ego Depths is constantly changing, growing up and developing. What kind of developing appears on “Follow the Skua”?

-Well, I used the simplified approach in idea exploitation during the moment of its embodiment, in both of the tracks. Also, that was the first time I have used the acoustic guitar and tambourine samples in the recordings. I tried to find the direction which I have to follow forth, but after I understood that the direction was false and not driven by my true feelings. The material almost repeats the Timelorn Madness and the neighbours, but in a slightly sleek and smooth form. Following the way of development, you always sprout somewhere you don?t really need. In other words, your being is always accompanied with something that branches out and stops its growing, though the main matter continues to improve and to grow up.

Q: You are recording your material at your home studio or you have a professional place to do that?

-Yes, I have my own home studio, not that kind of professional one unfortunately. For now I have no sufficient resources to work in the professional recording studio, as many of my colleagues have, but gradually I am acquiring and improving my own equipment and the experience to work with all of it. So I do live. A key event for Ego Depths was the release of split-CD “"Synthèse Collectiff - The Dark Whormholes": the release has united three bands, which contributed with their tracks to a one-piece work. What is this work about?

A key event for Ego Depths was the release of split-CD “"Synthèse Collectiff - The Dark Whormholes": the release has united three bands, which contributed with their tracks to a one-piece work. What is this work about?

-This work is about metaphorical and allegorical discussion and research on the topic of wormholes of human soul; how realistic and dangerous they are. What is the importance of them? Despite the fact, that this definition comes from high physics and still it appears as an unproved phenomenon in the scientific world, we decided to think on our own version of the events united under the latter term and to apply its carcass on human mind, which also constitutes a part of our time universe and, accordingly, it obeys the similar principles. Every participant represents its own vision of the problem. Sculpto with his track “The Three Shadows”, for example, has shown his vision in the brightest manner, with the clearest explanation. During the listening of his track, you can lose your mind, if you will be able to carefully perceive the hidden information and follow all that dozen emotional changes, which he used to put into the monolith of his “shadows”.

And by saying “everybody should think out the idea by themselves” I will not say anything new, but anyway – it holds its place here. It appears something like unchewed aliments for mind, besides the pathos.



Q: He-he… if so, it should be important to sing more clearly?. The lyrics are the imagery of “dark wormholes” and general description of the concrete emotions or it hides besides itself some kind of considered subjects which complete the music?

-You want to say, that it is possible to sing anything we want with this kind of vocals and style of music, no way to understand? Surely, I am not writing lyrics even close literature white ones, but I create them during the moment of creation of music, so they come as inseparable part of it. I think the same considers the lyrics of Aura Hiemis, but in the case of Sculpto, you are right in your second supposition.

Q: By the moment, when you have got the proposition to take a part in the split CD, you had all your tracks ready? Were you needed to adjust yourself to conform to the conception of “The Dark Whormholes”?

-Initially, this split CD was planned only between Aura Hiemis and Sculptor. After we talked in the chat altogether, we were agreed on the common idea about the three-way split, and I was offered with part in it. I agreed promptly and we started the work on embodiment of the idea. At that moment, my first track was completely ready and the second one I finished a bit late. Because the guys did not have any final idea before my entrance, so there was no hard time for me to adjust my part. Indeed, I have created my second track completely “being under” our idea, so from my side I can say that it fits the direction very well.

-What are the tracks “Feed My Ravenous Worms” and “…into the Empty Maw of Universe” about? During the time of your self-cognition, you really did not find anything else except that, what is possible to categorize as a slow, heavy and extreme music?

-Your first question is a kind of “let us know how to follow you, in the case if we would not like it, just not to lose our time”. But, because the lyrics were not printed somewhere in the CD?s layout, I have to say a few words. First one is about feeding the one man by another. It is how one devours another by the means which he is now aware of. He doesn?t realise that, but this happens. This happens beyond the time flow, as an empirical reference point, and by the end we cannot know, is this related to reality or not. In my second track, the name speaks about itself – into the Empty Maw of Universe. I have nothing to add. And of course I have discovered a lot of things, thanks to my being in music, even if it is my personal music. Your first question in this interview and my first answer partially point out the current answer.

-Good, that you have mentioned the worms… Did you think that an attempt to develop your theory of self-cognition creating some extreme form of music is about a way of self-deception? Maybe that is not the right question for a hot discussion, but most of the people listen to the extreme music only with the purpose of getting some extreme experiences, but to make the conclusions on the basis of deeply hidden secret sense… I doubt that somebody needs this.

Surely, you are right. I thought about this. Repeating myself, I should say that my creativity means a lot more for me, than just linking two chords with the third, their recording and growling something undecipherable, simply to accompany them.

The self-deception is our life?s omnipresent thing, just the portion varies sometimes. And sometimes we cannot distinguish or even until the end of the life we remain unaware of it, from this point I understand why you have asked this question. Believe me in my particular case it is not true.

Q: It is known, that by the end of spring 2012 you plan to finish the work on your second full-length album called “Bardo”. Which phase this work is currently on?

-All the tracks are ready for now, but the final work is going pretty slowly because of several reasons, interfering between each other. I want this work to be more sophisticated and better produced, then the first one, even if I am doing almost everything alone. So, I have no reason to be in hurry.

The self-deception is our life?s omnipresent thing, just the portion varies sometimes. And sometimes we cannot distinguish or even until the end of the life we remain unaware of it, from this point I understand why you have asked this question. Believe me Will “Bardo” be conceptually different from the previous works? The name may be interpreted dually: “bardo” is the sort of wine, and, “Bardo Thodol” is the name of the Tibetian tractate, which describes the events happening to the soul after the death of body.

-Oh, no way. It is neither related to wine nor the region in France (actually spelled Bordeaux). Of course, I love the wine quite much, but not that much to dedicate it the whole album under ED name. Of course, it is about the second variant, but here I have allowed myself some kind of freedom to use the word, slightly changing the initial meaning. Conceptually, it will be different from my previous works. It will sound strangely, but I had never done something like that.

-One of multiple ideas of “Bardo Thodol” is the ability to discern among the illusions, induced by the darkened human mind, the spiritual reality. Will this reality be presented on a new album or you left the place only for “the judgement of wrathful gods” and for “the hell of voracious spirits”? Let us not to go in deep, regarding the book, but I want to say there will be enough place for spiritual reality, for the judgement and for the hell at the same time. Everything has its own time to come.


Q: Have you already received any propositions concerning the new album release?

-No, I have not spoken to anybody about the release yet.

-Ok, so let us know when you will have any variants! I wish you plenty of success and the best of luck in your development, thanks for the thorough conversation! Would you advise our readers with how to use the extreme genres in their life most effectively?

-Kidding^) Music must be heard and not simply skipped through your ears. But if you did not find anything, which forced you to stop by it, you must perform a second attempt. If no result, repeat once again. Finally, if nothing happens to you at the last time, throw the CD out, delete it from you hd and never ever think about it. Thanks to you for a good conversation too! I wish you the best of luck and to never lose yourself! Thanks for the interest in my creativity and I thank you for the support!
Salute!

Interview By Aleks Evdokimov ( Translated From Russian - you can find the Russian version here - Metal Library )

Ego Depths Myspace
Free Download Of The Split Album






Jan 30, 2012

Blast From The Past: Electric Wizard Live Review from the year 2000 ...

I recently moved house which I hate to do but one good thing about it is, in the process you always come across stuff you forgot you had. In this case, there was many things but the main one was an old computer, circa 2000, anybody remember Windows 98? With great hesitation, I plugged this monstrosity in to discover, it didn't blow up in my face and it also contained a swag of never-before published album reviews but more importantly live reviews and they really brought back some memories. I have decided then to published a select few in something I am going to call - Blast From The Past. The first one I am going to share with you (after a little rewriting and editing) is a review of a Electric Wizard show but there is no record of the exact date but I do remember is was way back in 2000.

It is all too easy to forget that once upon a time, Electric Wizard was a very different band to what it is now. There was no beautiful blond goddess on guitar and no crazy looking tattooed dude either. It was a three-piece consisting of Jus Oborn, Tim Bagshaw and drummer Mark Greening and there is still many people who say this was the best Wizard that ever existed. Thinking back to the gig, it is easy to see why but more of that a little later. Memories of the venue and other such matters are sketchy but the performance is still clear in my mind to this day. Electric Wizard hit the stage at around 11:30pm to a packed audience and a huge applause. The support bands on the bill, (the names of which I don't remember) were loud but nothing had me prepared for the onslaught of volume and pure bottom-end that was about to be unleashed. The guitar and bass seem to be melted together in one humongous wall of sound that not only seem to push the crowd back a few feet but actually made me feel kind of nauseous.

The wall of sound from guitar and bass was so loud and thick, it drown out most of the drums and even vocals at times but that didn't matter at all. This was a like a celebration of sonic musical excess and I love every gut-wrenching moment of it. Electric Wizard played an odd set in my opinion. They didn't play one single track from the debut album to my utter disappointment (that album still remains one of my favorite EW albums by the way) but instead focus on tracks from the 'Come My Fanatics' album and the 'Dopethrone' album that had only just been released a few weeks earlier. Some of the songs played were 'Supercoven,' 'Son of Nothing,' 'Return Trip,' 'I, The Witchfinder,' 'Wizard In Black,' and 'Funeralopolis.' Every song was played super tight but the biggest surprise was the amount of improvisation, something that I wasn't really expecting from a Electric Wizard live set.

The band played a solid 75-80 minute set with the last song, an encore sounding like a orgasmic spaced-out doom jam that seem to last forever, gaining strength, volume, and heaviness with each earth shattering note that they played. I was actually wondering if I would make to the end of this tune as it was reaching ear-splitting levels that became quite painful. I staggered out of the venue 100% satisfied and exhausted.

Looking back at it now, it was the heaviest gig I had ever been to at the time and it would be a good number of years before any band came close to topping it and in some ways, no band ever has. I have seen Electric Wizard a couple of times since this gig, both times with the current line-up and I have to admit, something isn't the same. The volume is still there but perhaps the power isn't anymore. Not taking anything away from the band these days but the original Wizard seem to be more of a full band effort where as now it seems more like Jus Oborn and the band that backs him. I don't know if anyone would agree with me on that point but looking back at this show, I can't help but think something is missing these days.

Low Sonic Drift – Shadows of the Titan ...

Before listening to this band and their album I had distractedly given a look to their bio and automatically just taken note of their provenance. OK, cool, Scottish, Glaswegian. But since from the start, Low Sonic Drift’s debut album, 2009 Shadows of the Titan, gave me a strong impression of something quite “exotic”, both in the sense of “oriental” as well as, and especially, in the sense of “flamboyant”. How weird! Not what I expected from a Scottish band from my sunny Southern European viewing site (and maybe according to the southern cliché about the gloomy, chilly, wind-battered northern lands and their inhabitants …).
Then I went back to the bio and, well, got a few hints, probably …

Let’s start with the band’s name, Low Sonic Drift or better its initials, LSD, uh?
Then let’s mention the band’s members,  Omar Aborida on guitar / vocals, Paul Wilson on bass and Javaud Habibi on drums.
Let’s eventually look at these three metallers and at the smart Kufi-styled Farsi/Arabic-inspired logo of their band in the cool official picture. You can’t but expect “flamboyant” metal from these guys, at least if roots and past and present cultural heritage mean something.
In this sense it is true what one of the most intriguing definitions found for this band says, “Bay Area meets Marrakesh”. However this colourful definition is not exhaustive at all because Low Sonic Drift make a “ big mess” of much else, in a good sense, at least for me!


The 32 minutes of the 5 tracks in the mini-LP “Shadows of the Titan” are just a taste of what these guys are able to do and draw inspirations from, i.e. genuine “western/Scandinavian” metal of different styles (thrash, prog and good old-school classic heavy metal), psychedelia and fuzzy desert rock à-la-Karma To Burn/Kyuss, maybe some grunge and, undeniably, “(middle) eastern” music.
So if one looks for reassuring, sharp tags, well, it’s bad news with this band.

But if one longs for metal able to make one’s neck and head move according to the riff charges, well, the cool, intriguing, polyhedric style of Omar and his mates in Low Sonic Drift from proud Glasgow is a great choice!
Yes, because one of the main features of  LSD is that they are really good in making your neck move according to their tight sequences of heavy-as-f**k riffs and complex, clever but extremely catchy and nicely bass-driven melodies.
One thing only: as with dangerous drugs, if you listen to LSD more than once, you’ll be “hooked” …

The opening track, the 9:11 minutes-long suite Sun Doesn’t Rise, has an intriguing as well as luring start throwing you in the kasbah in front of a sunset while sipping your mint-scented sweet Moroccan tea. After a bit less than two minutes of “ethnic” magic created by violin-, piano- and bass-driven melodies, distant chanting and some “tribal” rumbling drumming, your Maghreb adventure is taken over by the cool tight, massive thrashy riffing often heard in this album. The Bay Area metal adventure starts and its ferruginous taste overlaps with the sweet mint flavour still lingering on your lips … Actually the dominant style in this part of the track (and in the band as well) is not simple old-school thrash metal. Riffs are incredibly heavy, fuzzy and fast but they are also following complex, if not virtuous, proggy metal patterns reminding of Tool, Opeth, and also in some instances, Porcupine Tree when they “go metal”.

The +9 minutes flow away fast and heavy and joyfully furious, and fresh as well, like the rumbling and tumbling waters of a mountain river.
The transition to the following track, the +7 minutes-long suite Hyperion is marked by a slow-down in the rhythms of the opening track but the pace dominating Hyperion is still fast. However there are a lot more changes in rhythms in this great, truly “heavy” metal track where the role of some cool (double) vocals is maybe relatively subdue and where the trio likes to make some spacey psychedelic experimentation as well, but without loosing the power of making your neck move in time.
The third track, the 5:45 minutes long As The Crow Flies starts soft and rather grungy, with a cool bass-driven leading melody. This track especially reminds me a lot of Porcupine Tree and Soundgarden. It’s really pleasant, although I must say I prefer when the guys give their riffs the full boost.

Quite a surprise comes from the short fourth track, Tamrine Namayesh, +3 minutes of full-immersion trippy chill-out in slow rhythmic drumming, sitar-like notes, soft touches of cymbals and eventually the smoothest of all sounds, the waves of a calm southern sea …
The closing, +7 minutes-long suite Shadows, is puzzling and misleading in its rather long subdued, “soft” desert rock-styled intro. But soon the trademark of this band, i.e. the mid- to up-tempo powerful and multifaceted bass/guitar riffing and acrobatic drumming, comes back in this mostly instrumental track where cool vocals give their passionate contribution during the last two minutes.
There’s a remarkable smooth interaction between the musicians here, in spite of the sometimes frenetically changing patterns of guitar- and bass riffs and the almost jazzy drumming style, all of which is often reminding me a bit of Faith No More’s “King For A Day …”. This seemingly easy, smooth interaction is likely to be attributed to the fact that these guys play together since 2007 and that they must have done a hell of a lot of live performances. The list of the bands they played with is impressive, let’s just mention some of the big names: Lesbian, Orange Goblin, Stinkin' Lizaveta, Weedeater, Abominable Iron Sloth, Black Sun, Pombagira, Koresh, Domes of Silence, Electric Mud Generator, Berserkowitz…

The vocal parts are maybe not as powerful as the dominant riffing, however they are intriguing, with their sounding halfway between those of a young aggressive thrasher and the strained vocals heard in grunge or in stoner, maybe. Sometimes Omar is producing some haunting deeper chanting, like the one heard in the charming double vocal parts hard in Hyperion. Omar’s voice is not roaring or menacing, but it is duly energetic, firm and fresh at the same time, and Omar’s moderate ability to tonal modulation is fair enough for the variety of LSD’s music.
The release of Low Sonic Drift’s debut mini-album “Shadows of the Titan” by Glasgow-based independent label Theoretical Records dates back to May 2009.
Apparently the band guys are currently working on the follow-up to “Shadows of the Titan” which should be out in the Summer of 2012, “hopefully allowing some time for listeners to get a feel for the record before the End of the World on the 21st of December 2012” ....
Well, I enjoyed this debut so I have great expectations for the coming album by Low Sonic Drift, such a cool surprise, and well worth being “exported” to stages in the Continent, to start with …   8/10

Review by Marilena Moroni

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Pilgrim - Misery Wizard ...

Pilgrim are a three-piece doom metal outfit, hailing from Rhode Island, USA who are getting a major promotional push at the moment. The album has only just been released and the internet has already been flooded with reviews of this album they have called 'Misery Wizard' so you have to ask yourself, is all the hype and publicity worth it. Well the answer is both yes and no. This band is pure old-school doom metal and it is good but it is also so much of a recycling of other bands that it is a case of being there, done that before. The main reference point with Pilgrim is Reverend Bizarre, so much so that it could that band reformed under a new name. There is also major nods to Saint Vitus, Black Sabbath and Pentagram so we are not talking about originality here. However, I think most people would agree that originality is overrated when it comes to a genre such as doom metal and it is better to have killer riffs that crush than be original but be completely boring and a lot of that has been creeping into the doom metal scene over the past couple of years.

Pilgrim have been signed to Metal Blade Records so that is somewhat of an oddity in the doom scene and in fact this is one of the first Metal Blade releases I have ever reviewed but of course, being signed to a well-known label means nothing if your songs are garbage so it still all comes back to the music, so what about the music of Pilgrim? Well there is plenty here for the traditional doom metal fan to get worked up over. First of all, the riffage crushes and it is insanely infectious at times while never getting stuck in plodding mode for long. The worshiping at the altar of bands like Black Sabbath, Saint Vitus and Reverend Bizarre never quits and never shifts direction. This is a pure doom-laden riff feast from start to finish. This is the kind of doom metal that purists insist is "real doom-metal" but we can argue about that for months can't we? 'Misery Wizard' features six songs, half of which top the ten minute mark and none of them get too dull but they don't offer any surprises either.

This album follows the sabbathian blueprint to the letter and never throws you a curve ball but thankfully, their riffs are very good so that is what saves this from just being another throwaway traditional doom metal release. The album highpoints are when they strike at something that has more of an original flavor and I use the term "original" very loosely in the case of Pilgrim. The album opening and closing tracks are both highlights, they being 'Astaroth' and 'Forsaken Man.' On 'Forsaken Man' they up the atmospheric end of their style with a very bleak, harrowing piece of epic doom. While it is still very similar to Reverend Bizarre's better works, they at least put their own spin on the style. 'Astaroth' 'Adventurer' and another track 'Masters of the Sky' work by mixing up the tempo just a tad by injecting a little speed with some galloping rhythms and if you can stop your head from moving during these two tracks, you must be on some serious downer drugs.

Elsewhere on the album however, it is pretty standardized traditional doomy fare. The title track can get a bit tedious after a while and never really gets off the ground and 'Quest' is a sinister tune but it cries out for some dramatic tempo and riff changes but it never really happens so it tends to get meandering. The production is great and the guitar sound is big, fuzzy and thick. Drums pound with unrelenting power but the vocals are the bands weak point. There are far from horrible but the vocals seem rushed and buried in the mix. Whether this is intentional or not, I have no idea but the voice is average at best so maybe the vocals are buried for a reason, who knows? Despite all its flaws however, 'Misery Wizard' is an album that is impossible to hate but it would help a lot if you are a dedicated traditional doom metal fan as fans of funeral doom and death doom may find the Reverend Bizarre worship a bit like overkill after nearly an hours worth of these tunes.

Without a doubt this is an album that will get mixed reviews and opinions, I can hear and read it all now. Some will love it, but some will find it predictable and boring. Yes, originality is overrated but if are going to walk in sabbathian footprints, you got to at least appear to be trying to put your own stamp on the style and at times, Pilgrim don't do that at all. It is just the recycling of a well-used formula and as good as that formula is, maybe it has been used one time too many by now. Fans of Reverend Bizarre, Saint Vitus, Cathedral, Black Sabbath and Candlemass will dig it but what kind of shelf life it will have remains to be seen. I get the feeling, it will be gathering dust pretty quickly for a lot of doom listeners out there. It must also be pointed out though that this band is very young as a band and as people so with that in mind, this is still a worthy release.......7.5/10.

Pilgrim @ Facebook
Pilgrim @ Blogger
Pilgrim @ Bandcamp

Hanged Ghost - Knowledge of the Occult ...

This album comes from the Portuguese label Bubonic Productions and anybody who knows anything about this fine label would know they have a taste for extreme doom but in the old-school tradition. Hanged Ghost are no different, they are a band straight from the Thergothon school of extreme funeral/death doom. This album, their first full length comes hot on the coat tails of a couple of very interesting demos titled 'Remembrance' and 'Remembrance II.'

This two-piece band haven't gone for the big production approach with this full length and to be quite honest, this album sounds more like another demo than a proper full length recording but that doesn't take anything away from the depressive, haunted vibe that the band puts across in these mostly extremely long tracks. This album has 4 tracks in total, 3 epic pieces and one short instrumental that finishes the album and in a word, this stuff is creepy.




The main thrust of their style is minimalism and extreme atmospheric bleakness with little regard for creating anything with any polish. There is very little to say about the songs, 'Calvarium,' 'The Wood & the Stone' and the absurdly titled 'Abhorrence as a Necessary Vision of a Cruel Analysis of Those Who Live Hidden in the Radiance of Treachery.' The songs are slime covered dirges that are raw, rough and with a black metallic vibe that seemingly go on forever at times. These three songs range from 13 to 17 minutes and are a bit of an ordeal to get through as they are not exactly bursting with variation or dynamics but if nihilistic doom is your thing, then you should appreciate the suffocating nature of these epic tracks. The Thergothon reference I made earlier tells the tale here, the band isn't ripping them off at all but that sums up their style and sound in a nutshell but they have even less in the way of variation. The music here is hypnotic at first but has a tendency to drag on after a while and by the time the 17 minute third track comes along, it seems to be stuck in repeat mode. I love the extreme doomed minimalist approach but it has to remain interesting to keep my attention and by the third track, my mind always starts to wander.

The odd track is the untitled instrumental that closes the album but it is pretty much forgettable. If you like your doom to reflect the pain, depression, and stress you may be feeling in your life right now, 'Knowledge of the Occult' could serve as a perfect soundtrack for that. However if you are looking for dynamic musicianship, tempo changes and infectious riffing, you better stay clear from this mob of cave dwellers. Listening to one or two tracks of this album at a time is hypnotic and interesting but as a whole, the mind-crippling bleakness gets a little tedious and loses its impact 20 or so minutes into the album. This album is for connoisseurs of extreme doom and might be too depressing for the casual doom listener but either way, this is a band with serious potential for creating some captivating doom metal in the future. As it is, this one shoots a bit clear of the mark but still, its worth checking out....7/10

MySpace*

*The link given to me is either down or wrong so don't blame me if it doesn't work.

Hands of Evil (Interview with Hands of Orlac) ...

Dr.Doom: Thanks for this opportunity Hands of Orlac! Congratulations for your debut! Tell me, how was the writing and recording process? Everything went according to plan? How do you feel now?

Hands of Orlac: Hi to you, Doctor and thank you for your interest in our band.
The recording process started it all for the way the band is now. When we departed to get to Studio Misantropen in Sweden we were a 4-piece/full Italian line-up. Let’s say that the first session didn’t go well. The solution came in the shape of local “friends” to help us record the album. These two “friends” later became the Puritan and the Clairvoyant. Things are now absolutely more difficult, logistically speaking, but musically we definitely found our way.

Dr.Doom: Before we go on with this interview do you mind introducing yourselves and tell us about the history of the band?

Hands of Orlac: In late 2009, me and the Sorceress decided that we needed a heavy metal band with 70?s influence but basically a horror themed band. As people sometimes decide to make short movies to fulfill the need for specifical characteristics, we decided that we wanted a certain “flavour” to go beside the music. We asked to some friends with suitable black-sabbathish skills in Rome, our hometown, to help us out and so the first line-up was made. With such line-up we played some shows and recorded our demo in 2010. On July of the same year at Metal Magic festival in Denmark we casually got in touch with Horror Records that.After a careful examination of our tape we’ve been offered the possibility of a vinyl release, that marked an important turning point for us. With such opportunity we decided to set sails to Sweden, heading for Studio Misantropen. Master Philip Svennefelt helped us to go toward the realization of the album. Unfortunately, the first recording session didn’t come out in an appropriate way so we re-recorded the entire album with a different line-up, still running at the moment. Recently our original guitar player left the band too so we are going through some settlements that are hopefully about to end. We now have a new Executioner.

 Dr.Doom: …Plus you don’t reveal the real names of the band members…Is this part of the band’s image?

Hands of Orlac: We have no particular purpose for stage names and our identities are no secret. As I said, we’re a horror-inspired band and we wanted to pay a tribute to our predecessors and inspiring ones. We never introduce ourselves to new people with the stage names, anyway.

Dr.Doom: I noticed all sorts of influences on the debut. Some Italian prog rock, some 80?s classic heavy metal, some 70?s proto-doom…What would you describe as the common base of all band members?

Hands of Orlac: In the beginning it was a bit different but now it can be affirmed that our common base is about heavy metal. Different musical influences are a matter of the personal taste in the band’s stylistic choice. Movies from Hammer Productions played a big role in those choices we made. We like to turn certain images into music using what we find the most appropriate forms.

Dr.Doom: Unlike most doom acts nowadays that try to sound as heavy as possible I would say guitar in Hands Of Orlac sounds sharper and a bit distant in the production. Was that delibarate?

Hands of Orlac: During the recording session we decided to move toward a certain direction, specially in the second, quick recording session. That kind of construction in the sound comes from the mind of the Master. We all thought that it was the right sound for our music even if now many people complained about it. We are as well firm on not lowering the tuning of instruments that has part in the responsibility of the overall “lightness”. Let’s say that we were more into 70?s Judas Priest than Saint Vitus for the guitars.

 Dr.Doom: Metal fans and especially doom fans are some of the most diehard lovers of rock style described as “Italian prog rock”. I totally love bands like Black Hole. I was wondering what is the impact of such bands to the local scene? Do you believe that newer Italian metal bands still get inspired by such bands?

Hands of Orlac: Hands of Orlac definitely owes something to such bands, one of the main reasons why we decided to put “Demoniac City” on the album. I don’t feel to talk for other bands but I think that there’s something that links many of us. There must be a similar way to express ourselves.

Dr.Doom: Italian bands adopted the occult theme quite early. Would you say that Italy is the godfather of this occult style on rock music?

Hands of Orlac: Probably the fact that we are victims of the Church has influence on it. We still have the Pope to dictate so-called moral issues. As I heard from people who was there in the 70?s they really had to fight against bigotry and the Christian grip.

Dr.Doom: Do you believe that this whole female vocals, occult, 70?s inspired rock act is becoming a bit more predictable? I mean, I am quite sure that many people will label you as Blood Ceremony rip-offs when they hear that you have female vocals and flute.

Hands of Orlac: That’s a point. More than once they compared us to Blood Ceremony. I love the band, their first album really hit me when I heard it first time. But as well I think it’s very superficial to consider us a rip off or a band based on their music. Female vocals add some special atmosphere, same for the flute. Many bands from the 70?s had one or the other or both elements that we decided to keep. The use we make of the flute is mainly for atmospheric purposes.

 Dr.Doom: I’ve been talking with many international metal fans and we all came to the conclusion that Italians know how to doom. Why Italian bands never (O.K., O.K. almost never) become extremely popular but stay as underground legends waiting to be discovered? Again my mind goes to Black Hole (Pure Legends) and what would have happened if they were born in Sweden for example.

Hands of Orlac: In the 80?s as well as now we have way less opportunities here in Italy on both the practical and the cultural sides. In my opinion difficulties and obstacles concern more effort, resulting sometimes in more personal and less conventional music. Taking your example, Sweden has way more possibilities, for what I could witness. And of course more than legendary bands. But think of Heavy Load, they absolutely didn’t get the right acknowledgement.

Dr.Doom: Do you feel that things are changing for the better now with the internet, facebook etc? To put it otherwise do you feel you have been benefited from all these alternative means of promotion or perhaps it has acted in a negative way?

Hands of Orlac: Probably without the internet this band would not be existing. We are not really pro-facebook but we must be thankful to the media as we are able to be in touch with realities far away from us. We have many possibilities for shows, friend bands and of course label.

Dr.Doom: Which other Italian bands would you recommend to the fans of Hands of Orlac?

Hands of Orlac: On the top of the list will go our friends from Black Oath and Focus Indulgens but probably everybody will already know them.

 Dr.Doom: If I am not wrong there is an upcoming split with “The Wounded Kings” and “Wooden Stake”. Do you have any info on that one? What are the other plans?

Hands of Orlac: I never heard about a colloboration with Wounded Kings. We’ve been in touch for a while with Vanessa from Wooden Stake. The plan for a split has been in the air for some time now. Nothing went any further. The only real plan is that our album will be released on cd by the irish label Blind Men & Occult Forces in early 2012.

Dr.Doom: Tell as something about your upcoming lives! Any plans for a more extensive European tour?

Hands of Orlac: The band is very difficult to manage. International memebers are usually financed to travel by rich labels. We have no other financial support than our own money. Even rehearsals and shows are very heavy to bear. Plus many members have very busy schedules with other project or work. We really hope to hit the road in mid 2012. Up to know we have a show in Italy(after more than a year) supporting the mighty Pagan Altar and a show in Dublin in May with Cauchemare.

Dr.Doom: O.K. guys I think this is it! Final words are yours…

Hands of Orlac: HANDS OF EVIL, KILL TONIGHT!

Interview By Dr Doom Metal ( Dr.Dooms Lair )

Hands Of Orlac @ MySpace











Part Two of the Doommantia Writers Special ...

Ever wondered who writes all these ramblings on Doommantia.Com? Well Sarp has put together this two part special of short interviews to the Doommantia Writing Staff just so you, the reader can get to know us a little better. It is just a bit of fun and a bit of harmless self promotion. This is part two.

 ALEKS EVDOKIMOV

Who are you and where are you from?

Aleksey Evdokimov, Russia.

What got you into music, and metal specifically?

I guess that I’m here because of same old difficulties of awkward age.  Mind-shields are low when you’re only 14 and heavy metal stuff just entered your brain easily.

How did you find your way to the genres that we cover here in Doommantia?

It’s a matter of dispute, but my first “doom” album was Tiamat “Wildhoney.” At least I thought that it was “doom.” Then I’ve learned about Russian bands Deceptive and Great Sorrow, then were Celestial Season and Jack Frost but somehow we guessed that death doom is only doom which never existed.  Much later I opened for myself trad doom, stoner and psychedelic scene.  For now it’s most suitable heavy music for me.

What made you decide to get involved and to start writing about the music?

It was in 2006, I just was trying to write reviews for metallibrary.ru because there was a chance to get CDs for free and I really thought that I had something to say.  Most important – as I think – was the fact that I suddenly have realized that I can’t find interviews with bands which was interesting for me, since that moment I bore good gentlemen with same old questions.

How did you come to write for Doommantia?

I needed to publish somewhere original English versions of interviews (‘cause guys of metallibrary.ru publish only Russian translations) and suddenly I’ve known about Doom Metal Alliance via R.A.I.G. records.  I wrote to Ed, Ed answered “yes,” and here I am.  It was not for glory of course… I guess it was important at that moment – to spread Word of Doom as wide as I could.

How was your experience writing for other websites?

I write mostly for metallibrary.nu though my publications also were placed into 2 or 3 other metal-sites.  Need to say – the more you write, the more experience you get.  I have about 400 reviews and 190 interviews in my list but now I see that most of my first tries were at least miserable.

You have three albums you can take with you to a desert island you are being condemned to.  You’ll be given a disc player, unlimited batteries and will have new of the same three albums as they get worn out.  What are those three albums?

Amrit Kirtan “Sacred Circle”
Deva Premal “Mantras for Precarious Times”
Krishna Das “Heart as Wide as the World.”

What other genres are you into? What do you sneak in between the covers at night, when you’re not drenched in doom and sludge and psych and drone?

Sacred chants, kirtans and mantras.

We all know Ed Barnard to some degree, but still, tell us a little bit about the Man Himself for those out there who don’t.

What do I know of Ed? A kind gentleman from a strange country.  Good husband, good father and bloody devoted follower of Doom Cult.  I watch as Doommantia grows for 2 years, and the job that Ed does is simply amazing, really – I’m serious as coffin.  Needless to say how deep doom genres are in underground so it’s incredible task to rise such site so high.  I would like to drink with him (hi Ed!)

Any last comments?

Thank you for a chance to write it down.  I just hope it doesn’t feed my Ego too much.  Speak no evil, see no evil, fear no evil.


ANDREA COSTANZO

Who are you and where are you from?

My name is Andrea, I’m 33 years young and I’m from the Northeastern part of Italy.  The doomiest one.

What got you into music, and metal specifically?

Since I was a kid, I always had a deep love for music.  No matter how dark the times were, the right band or song could make me feel all sort of emotions that no other art form, scratch that, nothing else could.  Music to me is a sort of odd spell through which a human being can communicate emotions to another person, in their purest unadulterated form.  It’s emotions from one heart to the other.  And metal is that, just in its shiniest, most powerful and pure form.  Metal is emotions, visceral ones.  And I’m all about strong feelings.  So this is MY music.

How did you find your way to the genres that we cover here in Doommantia?

The bands that I loved the most all had some common traits: they were from the seventies or were inspired by them.  And they worshipped the riff.  Even thrash metal, in its own way has an eye for the riff.  I think that a great, glorious riff is what wins me over in a song.  Also, I love vocals that come from the guys, whether they’re theatrical, melodic or aggressive.  I found that in early grunge, the sub pop, but the land of dreams was the land of doom, sludge and stoner.  I got there, and never went back.

What made you decide to get involved and to start writing about the music?

I always had a thing for writing, whether it's about my thoughts, stories or something I love.  I think writing about music is a great way to share it and spread the word about it.  So I wrote for a large number of webzines, some of which kinda made me learn the dark side of music journalism.  In the later years I found that I take more satisfaction in writing about this music, and about bands that benefit from my words.  I love helping the underground even if only with my articles (and buying the records, going to shows…)

How did you come to write for Doommantia?

I used to be part of the Sludge Swamp and befriended a lot of people there, especially Mari, who’s an Eye-talian like me.  So, after the Swamp shut down, I asked Mari how to get on Doommantia.  She just told me to get in touch with Ed and I did…

How was your experience writing for other websites?

My longest writing experience was with the Italian webzine Kronic (which now exists in another form.) It has its good sides, but I never liked the needed ass kissing of the labels.  I often found myself having to write stuff I didn’t believe in, or modifying my articles in order to please the labels.  Being part of the old Sludge Swamp was way better, it was such a great step for me with regards to the idea of helping the scene grow by spreading the word.

You have three albums you can take with you to a desert island you are being condemned to.  You’ll be given a disc player, unlimited batteries and will have new of the same three albums as they get worn out.  What are those three albums?

Aaah.  The toughest question in the world.  Ack.  Damn.  Curse you Sarp!
(after a pause for pondering)
Kyuss: “Blues for the Red Sun”
Sleep: “Dopesmoker”
Soundgarden: “Badmotorfinger”

Three is too little! (Duly noted.  I will try to modify our desert island policy a bit. – Sarp)

What other genres are you into? What do you sneak in between the covers at night, when you’re not drenched in doom and sludge and psych and drone?

I’m a music junkie, so I keep my ears filled for 8 hours a day, or close, so at the moment I’m loving a lot of dark electronica, singer/songwriter music and early noise rock.  I never quit listening to all sorts of blues derived stuff.  And metal.  Always.

We all know Ed Barnard to some degree, but still, tell us a little bit about the Man Himself for those out there who don’t.

Ed is a man who knows and loves music more than anyone I know, has excellent taste and on a human level, he’s a gentleman and a delightful guy to interact with.  Even when I’m just sending some reviews we always end up chatting.  He is a guy I’d love to hang out with, and he’s definitely one of those I consider a “brother in doom.”

Any last comments?

Well, I’m having a great time writing for Doommantia and I think I’ll always love this music and everyone I’ve met through this common passion.  That is something I will always treasure!

MAHESH

Who are you and where are you from?

Mahesh from India, and basically a metalhead for the last 21 years.

What got you into music, and metal specifically?

I was into hard rock way back in 80’s and gradually got into metal as I was looking for some extreme music.  I knew there was something like that.  But in 1990, I heard Death and Deicide for the first time, and was blown away.  I gradually got into black metal.  Thanks, Burzum.  Over a period of time I got into thrash metal, power metal and last but not least, doom metal.

How did you find your way to the genres that we cover here in Doommantia?

Doom metal was always there on my list but it was 1997 when I got to hear Candlemass and My Dying Bride.  That’s when I started digging into more and more bands like Saint Vitus, Count Raven, etc.

What made you decide to get involved and to start writing about the music?

I wanted to write music but ended up writing reviews and interviews (no regrets at all.) Writing music is in my cards in the near future.  But writing reviews and promoting some new bands always gives me a great sense of satisfaction.

How did you come to write for Doommantia?

I am writing for a couple of magazines – Forbidden Magazine and Mutilador.  Both are about death/black and thrash metal.  I always wanted to write something on doom metal as wel, and that’s where I got in touch with Ed.  He was kind enough to give me an opportunity to fulfill my dream.

How was your experience writing for other websites?

I am still writing for Forbidden and Mutilador Magazine.  It’s a truly amazing experience.

You have three albums you can take with you to a desert island you are being condemned to.  You’ll be given a disc player, unlimited batteries and will have new of the same three albums as they get worn out.  What are those three albums?

Three albums is pretty little, maybe 30,000 would be better.  It is pretty tough to choose as all bands are really god.  But to pick three from doom metal, then it has to be Count Raven – all albums (hey, you cheated the system! - Sarp); Pale Divine – Cemetery Earth and Memory Garden – all albums.

What other genres are you into? What do you sneak in between the covers at night, when you’re not drenched in doom and sludge and psych and drone?

My interest has always been extreme metal – mainly death and black.

We all know Ed Barnard to some degree, but still, tell us a little bit about the Man Himself for those out there who don’t.

Ed is an amazing human being.  He is someone who appreciates your writing every time you send him a review.  This is something I really like, as it helps you to do better every time.

Any last comments?

Doommantia is a great Ezine for doom metal, but things like Crestfallen / Soggybog on the site helps a lot of folks know what doom metal is all about.  Thanks to Kevin of Crestfallen Radio who mentions Doommantia in his show each and every time.  It’s a great way to get new fans to check this Ezine.  Thanks to Ed for taking a lot of pain in getting Doommantia to move forward.  Doom on!!


Jan 29, 2012

Caveman Battle Doom... CONAN Live 1/22/12, Plus New Track Streaming / Download ...

Conan are one of England's best kept metal secrets right now. The Liverpool trio have been hammering out some of the slowest and heaviest doom to fall off Crom's anvil since the release of their 2007 EP 'Battle In The Swamp' and they didn't start to garner international attention until 2010's 'Horseback Battle Hammer'. Their mammoth, wall of sound approach to songwriting brings to mind such west coast acts as Earth and Samothrace and the depth of some of their tracks is akin to certain sections of 'Dopesmoker' in terms of their effectiveness in transporting the listener from point A to point B in just under six to ten minutes. This past year they released a split with the Irish sludge group Slomatics on Head Of Crom records and the three Conan tracks on that split show a lot of promise for what's in store from this band in the year to come. They have already been selected by Voivod to play the Friday show of this year's upcoming Roadburn festival and are planing a European tour with Slomatics which should take them from to Finland to Ireland throughout the summer and fall. They also have an album due out in March on Burning World records but in the meantime have a listen to and enjoy a free download of their most recent live performance in England on January 22nd. This has got to be the best live doom recording of the year so far!

Words: Wes Cueto




Conan @ Bandcamp

Source of Deep Shadows - Fading Emptiness ...

Polish gang Source of Deep Shadows has been in doom-service since 2004, and even though their first death-doom opus "Source of Doom and Perpetual Night" was qualitatively superior versus standard works of some beginners, it lost a sufficient definition of musical sharpness in it’s canvases due to a certain proportion of rawness, which was one of characteristics of their early material. Several years have passed, and the trio offers to the audience their new CD with title brief and sacramental "Fading Emptiness" which pushes us to the right conclusion – guys are on their path of death doom again, though a press release of band’s label Redrum 666 confuses me as it says of "funeral especially for fans of Evoken, Skepticism, Mournful Congregation, Paradise Lost ".

Well, why not, let it be funeral! In the end I could agree with that sentence after listening of that mystical "Intro" and six-minute long track "Fading Desolation", Source of Deep Shadows rocks with measured and very slow death doom stuff, but I’m not sure that this song was the best choice to open the album – too slow to start. Next one, “Dark Escape”, comes with enticing acoustic chords but it’s atmosphere is heating up fast and bursts into death doom storm breaks off after a while simply in the death-vortex. Dod, band’s frontman, still may be proud with his reverberating brutal roar, so the story about the night creatures, "separating the flesh from the bones" sounds pretty convincing in his interpretation. The song "Primordial Fears" is structurally similar to its predecessor, but Source of Deep Shadows crew has reserved more space and time for fierce death-attacks.


At the same time, changing of tempo, growing tension of composition make an compelling effect and it becomes absolutely nonessential thing – which genre dominates in these tunes. Dod once said to me that main challenge which Source of Deep Shadows set before them was to write doom music which wouldn’t be boring. Okay, I have to assure you – they did it! "Endless Cold" sounds like a more elegant version of "Fading Desolation", but the composition is not so overloaded with heaviness of tombstones and smell of black soil; guitar’s acoustic passage brings a thrilling effect of necro-coldness so this theme is widely open in the song. I think it would be right to admit sharp compositional sense as one of few advantages of Source of Deep Shadows, for example they know when and how guitar solos should sound and even the absence of a live drummer seems unimportant factor considering common record’s quality. "Crystal Cage" (pt.I) combines the leading motives of the whole album – it moves from the hurricane shred to lengthy straying in musical spaces, disappearing in the distance solo with clear heavy bass and persistent growling. The second part of "Crystal Cage" sounds a little more avant-garde and melodic. The album closes with triumphal march of mournful procession of "Only Dust". The curtain falls. Correct tombstones, level the ground on the graves.

Source of Deep Shadows have shown a conscious, non-trivial approach to interpretations and recording of well-known doom patterns. They were able to transcend death-doom canons, which were kept in their previous work "Source of Doom and Perpetual Night", they almost abandoned the ambient background, so it was good to hear of them again though they absolutely refused for practical reasons lyrics in Polish, and that fact is a bit disappointing. But as you noticed, the release has made me a good impression – it’s content worthy of high praise, and it shows that men tend not to adhere to specific structures, the music for them is above all – it’s an art, and shouldn’t such approach be valued above everything else? There is a category of musicians who claim that they want to create something of their own, should I say that not everyone is obtained; "Fading Emptiness" demonstrates - there are exceptions to these rules, you can keep the boundaries of style and at the same time a bit to extend them. Pay attention to it.

Words: Aleks Evdokimov

Source of Deep Shadows @ Myspace

We Just Reached Another Milestone, Cheers.


Jan 28, 2012

UK's Groan Make A Unholy Pact with Soulseller Records ...

This update in from the Groan camp...
Let this UK-based doomsters have their own statement about this signing: “If the apocalypse happens in 2012 we hope that our next album, The Divine Right of Kings, can be the soundtrack to people drinking, dancing and pumping their fists into oblivion. We plan to play more live gigs this year and take over Europe. Who better to make this unholy pact with than Soulseller Records?” – Mazzereth (Groan vocalist)

Groan @ ReverbNation

Interview Special: Getting To Know The Writers Of Doom Part One...

Ever wondered who writes all these ramblings on Doommantia.Com? Well Sarp has put together this two part special of short interviews to the Doommantia Writing Staff just so you, the reader can get to know us a little better. It is just a bit of fun and a bit of harmless self promotion.

Some Giger Art, Posted Just Because I like it.

ED BARNARD

Who are you and where are you from?

I am Ed Barnard, originally from Australia, now an American-Australian citizen.  Been here on and off for a long while now.

What got you into music, and metal specifically?

I grew up surrounded by music.  My parents listened to heavy, psychedelic and prog-rock every day of the week, and the television was rarely even turned on, so there was always music playing.  So I think it was just natural for me to finish up a music fan.  I got to heavy-rock as it was known back then, because those bands stood out from the rest.  The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who and the singer/songwriter types of the era like Crosby, Stills and Nash did nothing for me, but Sabbath, Purple, Zepellin and bands like that sounded exciting and different, and that was where my love for metal started.
The real starting point was 1973 because that was when I first started getting an allowance, so I started spending all the money on records.  “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” was one of the very first records I ever bought, it was a new release at the time.  Why I have stuck with metal all these years is hard to say but I basically don’t like anything else except for some 70’s prog-rock and some psychedelia like Pink Floyd.  Other genres of music just don’t do anything for me, so for some 40 odd years, it has been the heavy that has kept me a music fan.

How did you find your way to the genres that you cover in Doommantia?

I have always loved the slower, heavier bands, starting with Sabbath in the 70’s.  In the 70’s I used to spend a hell of a lot of time browsing second-hand record stores looking for other slow and heavy bands, but it wasn’t until the mid-to-late 80’s that they started to appear more regularly.  When Trouble released their debut, and The Skull, and then Saint Vitus and Candlemass appeared on the scene, it was when I became a concrete doom metal fan.  I have listened and still do listen to other genres of metal, but nothing beats doom metal for me and I can’t see that ever changing.  It is the heaviness, both musically and emotionally, plus the atmosphere of doom albums that do it for me.  I just find the genre totally mesmerizing.

What made you decide to get involved and to start writing about the music?

I have been writing since the mid 90’s.  I just like putting my thoughts down.  It used to be me sitting at a typewriter, painfully typing away but with the birth of the internet, it became an avenue to put my thoughts to good use by posting blogs and writing for other websites, usually as just a guest.

How did you come to start Doommantia?

I started Doommantia because I got tired of waiting for other people and having to meet other websites’ demands and restrictions and rules.  I got censored once by one website that shall remain nameless and that was the final straw for me.  I had to do something myself.

You have three albums you can take with you to a desert island you are being condemned to.  You’ll be given a disc player, unlimited batteries and will have new of the same three albums as they get worn out.  What are those three albums?

I want to name just Sabbath albums really, they satisfy all my musical needs but for three different ones, I would have to include “Sabotage” by Black Sabbath (my favourite Sabbath album), Saint Vitus – “Die Healing” and Pink Floyd’s “Meddle”, I think that would work.

What other genres are you into? What do you sneak in between the covers at night, when you’re not drenched in doom and sludge and psych and drone?

I like 70’s prog such as King Crimson and Yes but generally, it is the more obscure bands that I like the most usually.  Bands like Camel, Nektar and Gong.  I’m a big fan of proggy hard rock from the 60’s and 70’s too, bands like Captain Beyond, Atomic Rooster and the later Argent albums.  Psychedelia is big with me too, the trippier the better.

Any last comments?

Keep on viewing Doommantia.  Not much else I can say except, thanks for all the support.

DR.DOOM METAL

Who are you and where are you from?

My name is Victor von Doom, but I am also known as Dr. Doom.  Contrary to common belief, I was born in Greece but I currently live in Latveria.

What got you into music, and metal specifically?

It seemed like a nice idea getting Fantastic 4 and Iron Man while listening to Black Sabbath’s Iron Man.  The cool t-shirts of these bands were also a plus.

How did you find your way to the genres that we cover here in Doommantia?

I am addicted to metal.  I like music in general but metal takes most of my time, so I can’t really get into other kinds of music as much as I would like to.  At some point around the late 90’s, I realized that downtuned music was my thing!

What made you decide to get involved and to start writing about the music?

An opinion is like an asshole, everybody has one.  I just wanted to show my asshole… sorry, I meant, my opinion.

How did you come to write for Doommantia?

Ed contacted me! It was an honor.

How was your experience writing for other websites?

I wrote for various fanzines, mostly for underground thrash/black metal bands.  It was a really expensive hobby at the time, as the ‘zines were printed on paper.  The internet rules!

You have three albums you can take with you to a desert island you are being condemned to.  You’ll be given a disc player, unlimited batteries and will have new of the same three albums as they get worn out.  What are those three albums?

Is that disk player a DVD one? ‘Cause maybe then I could rip about 2000 albums to mp3’s and burn them on 3 DVD disks.  Sorry if that’s cheating… I am evil by nature…

(I actually had never considered the possibility… huh. – Sarp)

What other genres are you into? What do you sneak in between the covers at night, when you’re not drenched in doom and sludge and psych and drone?

Thrash is good, death, black… I’m mostly extreme music, but not as much as I used to be.

We all know Ed Barnard to some degree, but still, tell us a little bit about the Man Himself for those out there who don’t.

If something you really like has offered you a good time, then you have to give something back… I believe Ed went by that rule when Doommantia was created… and he, in turn, inspired me to do the same.

Any last comments?

Doom over the World!

MARILENA MORONI AKA MARI

Who are you and where are you from?

I am Marilena, Mari, and I live in Milano, Italy.

What got you into music, and metal specifically?

I love music in general and I dig many genres, although, yes, metal is one step ahead of the rest.  I have been attracted to music since I was a little kid.  Music was played and listened to at home in my birth valley, and old-school rock’n’roll was there.  Moreover, my aunt was managing a soda shop, where one of the few jukeboxes of the valley was active.  I am a kid of the 60’s, so I was a teen in the mid 70’s, when the first private radios started spreading tunes by the coeval, early psychedelic, hard rock and prog bands from the foreign and Italian scene.  I was an early teen when I first heard Black Sabbath by chance on a tape, and I was struck immediately.  Back in time I have been enjoying “old” hard, psychedelic and also prog rock a lot, much of it captured more from radios and less by buying LPs (those available in the shops were quite expensive.) I also enjoyed the first punk rock wave, when radios were flooded by tunes by primarily British and later US bands. What first dragged me into the more “brutal” metal, though, was the impact with early Sepultura.  That was a shock and I discovered, or better I had to admit to myself, that I dug brutal and morbid sounds and terribly obscure, sepulchral atmospheres.

How did you find your way to the genres that we cover here in Doommantia?

Well, the early fire imprint by (early) Black Sabbath made me appreciate a kind of downtuned, oppressive and sinister sound coupled with groove, which was unique back in the day.  So it was a pleasure to catch that sound again after some time, in bands like Saint Vitus and Pentagram.  I must say that I worship early Black Sabbath only.
First scarring encounters with sludge came via Acid Bath and the early stuff of Eyehategod.  Those were totally sick tunes…
Desert and stoner rock came somehow via the grunge wave, especially inspred by Alice in Chains and Mudhoney.  Needless to say and, surely, quite unoriginally, the first albums I bought were by Kyuss…

What made you decide to get involved and to start writing about the music?

Ah, it was something completely casual and it came after some months of interaction with the Sludge Swamp bloggers, and by tenreing the writing team of the blog (after overcoming my huge shyness.)

How did you come to write for Doommantia?

Ed was a good friend of the Sludge Swamp for a long time and we at the Swamp were admirers of Doommantia.  At a certain moment, Ed was kind enough to propose a collaboration with Doommantia to me.  I still remember, it was in a thread about “early” Black Sabbath, heh… now that’s “dooooom”!

How was your experience writing for other websites?

Well, when Cheeto, the owner of the Sludge Swamp, wrote to me with the proposal to enter the Swamp team I couldn’t believe it, and I was a bit scared as well, hahaha! I love(d) music but, well, writing about it, and in a foreign language, was something else… Also, I am not a journalist, and my “real” job has nothing to do with music (I work as a geologist… okay I actually study rocks and metals, hahaha!) But those years at the Sludge Swamp have been simply great.  I had massive time and I learnt a huge amount of things from my fellow bloggers and from the interaction with the bands.
I must say, it was another big emotion when Ed proposed to me to enter Doommantia.  Well, I feel that, as an experience, it is quite different from a blog.  Maybe I’m wrong, but for me, Doommantia was the “serious place”, the “temple” by definition, even though I did take the writing on the Sludge Swamp as a serious thing as well.  I mean, at the Swamp we were joking a lot, but the blog was tough, otherwise it would not have grown and become popular also among many bands as it did.

You have three albums you can take with you to a desert island you are being condemned to.  You’ll be given a disc player, unlimited batteries and will have new of the same three albums as they get worn out.  What are those three albums?

Oh, too difficult! Instinctively, I would say:

Black Sabbath – S/T
Kyuss – Blues for the Red Sun
Celtic Frost – To Mega Therion.

But in such an extreme situation, after a while, I’d start to hate those albums so I probably wouldn’t take any.

What other genres are you into? What do you sneak in between the covers at night, when you’re not drenched in doom and sludge and psych and drone?

I also like death, black, thrash/speed metal and their sick/filthy/nasty hybrids, and some prog and gothic metal as well (or, better yet, some gothic rock a-la-Christian Death.) I like some technical metal, and I also like the hybrids between metal and free jazz.  I like grindcore, old-school hardcore punk, crust/d-beat, crossover/metallic punk and punkish rock’n’roll a-la-Helicopter/Peter Pan Speedrock.  I like a little bit of industrial metal every now and then, and I like some electronic music like in Prodigy, Mortiis or Combichrist.
I do like classical music (and to se opera at the opera theater,) some jazz and blues, world music (Arabic and Sufi music, some Indian music, African music, etc.) I have contrasting feelings towards post-metal/post-rock.  I can’t stand symphonic gothic metal with sopranos singing, goregrind, emo/screamo and some mixtures involving melodic hardcore, though.

We all know Ed Barnard to some degree, but still, tell us a little bit about the Man Himself for those out there who don’t.

Well, for what I know and I have known of Ed in these years of Sludgeswamp/Doommantia interaction, I have always had the impression of him as being a very serious and dedicated man and a very kind person with a huge passion for music and great respect for the scene and the musicians, even when he gives negative reviews.
As of late I realized that this huge passion for music is a great help to make him  hopefully overcome some difficult moments of life. I have the impression that Ed's  writing style tells a lot of his character, or better, of his present attitude, which is sometimes poisoned by a little bit of pessimism. But he is tough!

Any last comments?

(Mari offered none.-Sarp)

SANDRIJN VAN DEN OEVER

Who are you and where are you from?

I’m Sandrijn van den Oever, I currently live in the dirty South of Holland I’m 34years old.  But I look young.  Very young.  I was born in the darker regions of Geleen, and I lived in Rome (Italy), Leuven (Belgium), Amsterdam, Heerlen, Sittard,Geleen and Maastricht (Holland.) I have two master’s degrees (arts & sciences, and literary studies) and one bachelor (education.) I was into literature and psychoanalysis, but nowadays I read everything, ranging from thrillers to literature.  Besides ‘the arts’ I like walking, bicycling, jogging and cooking.  People seem to like me because I am polite and am rarely late.

What got you into music, and metal specifically?

It all started with Meat Loaf, of course.  I love Meat Loaf.  In elementary school, I had a friend who was into Iron Maiden.  I picked that up because of the rad music, but also because of the awesome shirts.  At the beginning of high school I was into Maiden, Priest, Scorpions, Guns N’ Roses, AC/DC, Saxons and Pink Floyd, but unfortunately the whole ‘alternative’ rock thing happened, and I was getting more and more into Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains.  Even more regrettably I later got into the whole Epitaph punk thing, but luckily (musically, not morally) I steered towards (straight edge) hardcore.  I’m still not a big fan of punk, I still think qua music punk hasn’t got a lot to offer.  Conceptually, it is an okay movement, but musically disappointing to say the very least :P.  I have the same thing with Jimi Hendrix, Iggy Pop, The Pixies, Sonic Youth: I just don’t understand what all the fuss was all about.  But back to my musical journey.  Being a vegan straight edge nerdario, I was very happy to listen to ‘metallic’ bands like Integrity, Strife, Bloodlet, Gehenna, Ringworm, One Life Crew, Sangraal, Acme, etcetera.  I also got the basics around that time, like Slayer, Pantera and Dissection.  After and during this hardcore thing I started listening to hip-hop and I got into more and more easier musical waters.  I ended up catching up to the whole indie thing at the beginning and the midst of the 2000’s and then when Goatsnake’s Flower of Disease came out, I was hooked and sold.

How did you find your way to the genres that we cover here in Doommantia?

Accidentally.  Integrity released Integrity (2000) at the time, and that’s when I dropped out of hardcore.  Flower of Disease! (2000) Together with First Daze Here by Pentagram (2001): these actually were the first bands that really got me into what I called stoner at the time.  Alongside these bands, I listened to QotSA, Kyuss and Fu Manchu, Desert Sessions, but when I look back, I think only Kyuss and the first QotSA are still very, very good.  QotSA went the “Dave Grohl way” of making lots and lots and lots of money, which is a shame as far as the music is considered.  But, I also dug and dig Brant Bjork, you gotta love the guy.  Goatsnake and Pentagram both served as massive eye-openers to say the least.  Then Staring at the Divine came in 2002, and what I liked about that release was the intensity and anger of Alabam Thunderpussy: a kind of hardcore vibe but sleazy, drenched in whiskey.  For me, Goatsnake and Pentagram are still these cozy, laidback heavy rock, doom bands, especially Goatsnake with their special mix of groovy heavy rock.  From then on I got into the lot of them: Orange Goblin, Hermano, Acid King, Dozer.  Then, when I lived in Italy, I found Electric Wizard’s “Come, My Fanatics” in a flea market, and basically I stayed focused on that particular niche of doom.  So first it was stoner, but right now I’m listening to a lot of retro, female-fronted doom, and occult/evil doom in general.  What can I say, I just like the horror poetics of the occult doom.  It doesn’t mean a bloody single thing to me, literally (what else is Satan but a nice metaphor, anyway?) but I dig it symbolically.  Right now, I love The Devil’s Blood, In Solitude, Ancient Wisdom and those kinds of bands.  The great thing is that, Ancient Wisdom actually features two members of Integrity, so how cool is that?

What made you decide to get involved and to start writing about the music?

When stonerrock.com went to shit, I started searching for other places to read reviews, and I ended up reading Doommantia a lot.  At the same time, I was thinking about doing something more than downloading everything like a mongoloid I could come up with, and right about that time I saw a post by Ed, asking for writers of doom.  I wrote a piece on the Devil’s Blood, and I was allowed on board.  I didn’t write a word on music before Doommantia.
(A man after my own heart, I must say. –Sarp)

You have three albums you can take with you to a desert island you are being condemned to.  You’ll be given a disc player, unlimited batteries and will have new of the same three albums as they get worn out.  What are those three albums?

Probably “Bat Out of Hell” by Meat Loaf, “Taking Tiger Mountain by Srategy” by Brian Eno and “Sad Wings of Destiny” by Judas Priest.  Oh, and “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.”

What other genres are you into? What do you sneak in between the covers at night, when you’re not drenched in doom and sludge and psych and drone?

Ambient (I think Brian Eno is a God), overall sixties and seventies heavy rock, psych because I think the most spaced out music was conceived in those decades (Hawkwind!) and notwithstanding the tremendous amount of nowadays awesome acts, I don’t think that particular standard and atmosphere have been captured since.  And of course the eighties für my Metal!
The last year I really got into the origins of hardrock and heavy metal, and I haven’t lost interest since.  I really dig Judas Priest, W.A.S.P., Dokken, Thin Lizzy, Manowar, Vandenberg, Girlschool, The Runaways, Motörhead, etc. But I also like the new occult metallers like Ghost, In Solitude, Cruel Force, etc.  My vce of choice nowadays is (raw black metal), but I also like jazz, old R&B and R. Kelly a lot.  When I look at my iTunes, these genious mixes are available (meaning I have a lot of that particular genre in my library): Classic Rock – Heavy Metal- Mainstream Electronics – Americana – Indie Rock – Jazz – Classic R&B – Singer/songrwriter – Contemporary Folk – Alternative Pop/Rock – Honky-Tonk/Outlaw – Punk.  Damn.  Still pun… but my punk mix on iTunes features Neurosis & Integrity!

We all know Ed Barnard to some degree, but still, tell us a little bit about the Man Himself for those out there who don’t.

I think Ed is a really supportive guy who shows a lot of love and interest in the music he loves and he dedicates his life to writing this great ‘zine which gets a heap of positive feedback.  He’s really a nice guy as far as I can say, and he is also interested in the personal life of his writers.  Hope to catch a beer with him sometime in the future!

Any last comments?

I hate it when bands contact me about a negative review: get over it and don’t be a bitch about it.  After all, what do I know? It just sucks that the review got read by lots of people, though.

WES CUETO

Who are you and where are you from?

My name is Wes Cueto and I was born in New York City and grew up there and in New Jersey.  I currently live in Portland, Oregon, USA.

What got you into music, and metal specifically?

Music has always been there.  I can remember dancing around to the Beetlejuice soundtrack as a very small child.  I really wore that cassette tape out.  When I was older, about 11 or 12, I discovered Black Sabbath and really latched onto them.  That led me to get more into bands like Slayer during my teens.

How did you find your way to the genres that we cover here in Doommantia?

I was working at a record shop in Pittsburgh when “Witchcult Today” was released, and I have to say that when I first heard Electric Wizard as a 21 year old, it made me feel like I was 12 again, listening to Sabbath.  Maybe it had something to do with the spooky occult give that got me so interested in the movie Bettlejuice when I was very young… Once I realized how much I was into Electric Wizard, I went back to discover older doom/stoner/psych bands that influenced them and through that I came to realize just how important doom and all of its related sub-genres are.  Doom is the Blues and the Blues is everything.

What made you decide to get involved and to start writing about the music?

I was taking film classes at a local college while I was working back at that record store.  I became a lot more interested in writing than filming so I took some writing classes and really enjoyed them.  This led me to pursue writing more so than film related work but in all reality, I am interested in working with both.

How did you come to write for Doommantia?

I have never been a passive listener and since I was already listening to the music, I was reading about it too.  Doommantia has been a well known source for news in the doom/stoner/sludge/psych scenes for a while.  When I noticed I tended to gear my music journalism toward the Doom scene, like my first two interviews were with Orange Goblin and The Gates of Slumber, I figured I would contact Ed to see if he was accepting contributors – and as luck would have it, he was.

How was your experience writing for other websites?

When I first started doing music journalism, I Wrote for some more Grindcore, Punk and Thrash oriented ‘zines, which were great! I had a lot of fun working on those sites and collaborating with different people in addition to the work I do on my own blog (graveyarns.wordpress.com)

You have three albums you can take with you to a desert island you are being condemned to.  You’ll be given a disc player, unlimited batteries and will have new of the same three albums as they get worn out.  What are those three albums?

The Best of Chuck Berry
Black Sabbath – Vol. 4
Hellhammer – Demon Entrails

What other genres are you into? What do you sneak in between the covers at night, when you’re not drenched in doom and sludge and psych and drone?

 I love it all: black metal, death metal, thrash, punk, hardcore, grindcore, noise, jazz, blues, funk, soul, hip-hop, reggae, electronic/ambient, latin and afro-beat,country, rockabilly, classical, you name it.  Hail Hail Rock’n’Roll!

We all know Ed Barnard to some degree, but still, tell us a little bit about the Man Himself for those out there who don’t.

Well, I don’t know Ed very well, but in the short time I’ve been contributing to the site, he has been very open and encouraging of different ideas.  It was really cool of Ed to accept me on his team of writers, given that I haven’t been doing this for very long at all and am still learning a lot about it, it’s a lot of fun and he’s been very cool with me along the way, which has really been inspiring.  Thanks, Ed!

Any last comments?

When I got involved in music journalism, I was going through a very rough patch in my life and needed an outlet.  I feel really privileged to be a part of this international community of amazing people who all share the same passion for the same music.  Doom Over the World! Long Live Rock n’ Roll!

Article By Sarp Esin.
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