Nov 30, 2012

Seremonia - "Seremonia" ...

When it comes to the psychedelic acid rock era of the late 60's many bands to this day are still gathering new fans while dragging their long-time existing fan base along with them. However some bands have been slightly pushed aside or forgotten about. One band that I think fits that criteria is Iron Butterfly of 'In A Gadda Da Vida' fame. Now why in the hell am I talking about this band of flower-power acid pop hipsters?

Well this band from Finland Seremonia remind me of the butterfly in a strange but heavier way. If the truth be told, Iron Butterfly were never a heavy band so why they get the proto-metal tag by some people is a mystery but they did record some heavy tunes that were really ahead of their time for 1968/69 and Seremonia in many respects have tapped into that sound in a small way. Along with 60's psyche-rock and heavy pop sounds, they are also heavily influenced by Black Sabbath, Cream and Deep Purple. If you are looking for a modern reference point then think Ghost, Blood Ceremony and Jex Thoth.


Now the occult rock thing has been taking a bit of a bashing of late from folks growing tired of the whole style as bands become more and more predictable. I am sorry to say this but this Finnish band won't give you fresh hope either. The band who do a good job at recreating the psychedelic, occult rock 60's/70's vibe are obviously good players but it is just what you would expect to hear from a band like this and that is the first of many flaws this album has. Yes they have a female vocalist that sounds like many other females doing this kind of thing. They have short catchy songs with a poppy edge a-la Ghost but rather than worshiping at the feet of Tony Iommi it is Geezer Butler who they seem to take great influence from. The rumbling bass lines are very much in the "Geezer" vein but take that away and you are left with a fairly dull album.

Highlights - there isn't many but 'Rock ‘N’ Rollin’ Maailma' is a catchy heavy pop tune with the Iron Butterfly vibe I mentioned earlier while 'Kosminen Ruumisvaunu' has Deep Purple written all over it. 'Antikristus 666' has child-like, almost sinister chanting vocals that are mesmerizing but everything is so predictable right down the Jethro Tullish flute work - yes they have that as well. 'Hautakiven Varjossa' closes the album in a sabbathy style and is also solid but they ruin it with a overly cheesy flute solo. One of the problems is the album seems half-assed. Half the songs are three minutes or less and the other songs are not much longer so none of the songs have much time to set up any kind of groove or vibe. Even 'Kosminen Ruumisvaunu' which is my favorite tune from the album is over and done with in little over 2 minutes leaving the listener frustrated and wanting a lot more. Seremonia have a lot of good things going for them, fine musicianship, good (although predictable) vocals but need some fine-tuning and an injection of originality. The guitars are nice and fuzzy but they seem to end songs long before they have a chance to build in any one direction. There is great potential here but this misses the mark for me personally. For fans of above mentioned bands....5/10.

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HIGH ON FIRE: New York City Shows To Be Recorded For Upcoming Live Album ...

Oakland, California-based power trio HIGH ON FIRE will have its next two shows professionally recorded for the band's upcoming live album:

Nov. 30 - Bowery Ballroom - New York, NY
Dec. 01 - Music Hall Of Williamsburg - Brooklyn. NY

HIGH ON FIRE's latest album, "De Vermis Mysteriis", sold around 7,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 63 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released on April 3 via eOne Music, the CD was recorded in Salem, Massachusetts' GodCity Studios with producer and CONVERGE guitarist Kurt Ballou. The 10-song effort — touted as "direct, eye-opening and powerfully supernatural" — is the band's sixth studio recording and the follow-up to 2010's "Snakes For The Divine" which debuted at No. 62 on The Billboard 200 chart and has been called "wonderful" by The New York Times and "an exhilarating rush" by the Chicago Tribune.

"De Vermis Mysteriis" (or "Mysteries Of The Worm") takes its title from a fictional grimoire created by "Psycho" author Robert Bloch and incorporated by H. P. Lovecraft into the lore of the "Cthulhu Mythos" (Lovecraft mentioned "De Vermis Mysteriis" as one of the books that "repeat the most hellish secrets learnt by early man"). The album carries a deeply mystical undercurrent, incorporating fantastical themes and lyrics detailing, among other things, time travel, a serum called liao that is made out of a black lotus and "a Jesus twin who can see the past through his ancestors' eyes." And that's just scratching the surface!

Musically, "De Vermis Mysteriis" is absolutely explosive, showcasing the California power trio's thundering roar and expanded harmonic and rhythmic palettes while the songs move confidently through multiple riffs and movements. HIGH ON FIRE construct tough, burly stoner metal that is at once devastatingly epic and mercilessly metallic as superstar guitarist Matt Pike's sizzling ax and avenging-angel riffs fuse with Des Kensel's double-kick-drum onslaught and Jeff Matz's concrete crushing, Burton-esque bass guitar. Over the course of forty-five minutes, HIGH ON FIRE have created an amalgamation of fantastical lyrical ideas and brute force musicianship anchored in an endlessly captivating, punkishly frantic sound. Simply put, the band generates awesome on demand and has a virtual chokehold on monolithic-sounding, masterfully crafted epic music. HIGH ON FIRE is a savage bull in the china shop of modern metal.

Source: Blabbermouth.

Nov 29, 2012

NEWS: KYUSS LIVES! Becomes VISTA CHINO ...

Brant Bjork, John Garcia and Nick Oliveri — formerly of KYUSS — have announced their new project: VISTA CHINO. The group, comprised of the three founding members of the legendary rock band and guitarist Bruno Fevery, is currently recording new material in anticipation of a 2013 worldwide release that will coincide with major touring plans.

The final live appearances of KYUSS LIVES! — featuring the same lineup as VISTA CHINO — will take place in early 2013 as part of Australia's Soundwave Festival. The guys are looking forward to playing their classic songs along with new material. Ex-KYUSS members Josh Homme and Scott Reeder filed a lawsuit against their former bandmates in March, claiming that they "made every attempt to help [Garcia and Bjork] continue KYUSS LIVES! respectfully. Only to discover while they looked us in the eye, KYUSS LIVES! management and band had filed federal documents in 2011 in an attempt to steal the name KYUSS. This is desperately what we were trying to avoid."

In his August 2012 ruling, a federal judge said that the new band may not use "the 'Kyuss' mark in any capacity unless the word 'Lives' follows the word 'Kyuss' in equally prominent lettering," He also prohibited KYUSS LIVES! from using the name "in conjunction with any studio album, live album, or other audio recording." The judge also warned the members of KYUSS LIVES! that "future concerts under the 'Kyuss Lives' mark might continue to subject them to liability for trademark infringement" and suggested, "It may be in Defendants' best interest to begin re-branding under a new name."

In a May 2012 interview with RolllingStone.com, Bjork stated about Homme and Reeder's lawsuit, "They don't want to mention that they trademarked the name KYUSS after I left the band, assuring that I had no rights in KYUSS' future. They're both accusing John and I of doing something that they actually did themselves. Their inner conflict is this: both Josh and Scott want control and money from KYUSS LIVES!, but they don't want to participate and they ultimately don't want us to exist. The double standard is unbelievable."

He added, "Josh and I were the creative force within the band and after the completion of our second record, 'Blues For The Red Sun', we developed an opposing view on how the band should exist and operate. In 1992 Josh discovered publishing, which is the financial revenue stream for songwriting. After that, he wanted to write all the songs. As a drummer, I couldn't make him play my songs. I wasn't going to compromise my heart and soul and play drums for Josh to make money in a band I started. So I left the band. I was a confused, angry and sad 19-year-old idealist who sacrificed my love of my band for what I believed in. Two and a half years later, Josh would break up the band after John confronted him about the same thing; his need to control the band for personal gain."

Photo credit: K. Campbell

Mala Suerte/Uzala – Split 7” ...

Mala Suerte and Uzala—both practitioners of heavily mired, psychedelic doom—have joined forces to release a split 7” that highlights some of the best that both bands have to offer. Mala Suerte’s Illumninati inspired, New World Order thwarting “The Veil of Secrecy” is a heavy, hook-laden response to corruption, inequality, and clandestine abuses of power. While “The Veil of Secrecy” was recorded in 2010, not long after the release of the band’s sole full-length album, ‘The Shadow Tradition’, it is a track that really fits in well with the band’s previously released material while at the same time showing compositional growth. “Burned”, Uzala’s contribution, embraces a cleaner sound than what is found on both their self-titled album and the ‘Cataract/Death Masque’ single which ultimately places even more of a focus on Darcy Nutt’s ethereal vocals.

 “The Veil of Secrecy” has two things going for it that really elevates the track above anything that Mala Suerte has put out before it—the opening lead guitar and Gary Rosas’ vocals. The entire song is a mid-paced plod, but the opening lead guitar instantly draws the listener in with its emotive, killer tone. Immediately noticeable with Mala Suerte’s latest is that Gary Rosas’ vocals have been dialed-back a bit which really works well on this tune. “The Veil of Secrecy” sacrifices the abrasive, up-front vocal delivery found on ‘The Shadow Tradition’ in favor of a more restrained, chant-like cadence that complements the conspiratorial lyrics. Mala Suerte’s contribution is a welcome addition to the band’s catalogue and thankfully “The Veil of Secrecy” has finally been revealed.

 The relatively cleaner production of Uzala’s “Burned” really stands out and brings Darcy Nutt’s seraphic vocals to the forefront. While the production is a bit clearer, this isn’t a night and day difference. The bands still dwells in the depths of a psychedelic slurry, though the waters are a bit less murky. “Burned” still displays all of the musical elements that make Uzala so great. The interplay between the riffs and lead guitar courtesy of Chad Remains and Darcy are ever-present as is the dark, uncompromising atmosphere that seems to permeate all of the band’s recordings. For those needing a fix while they are waiting for the band to finish their next album, “Burned” just may temporarily hold them over.

 Both of the doomed-out tracks on the split are strong compositions that complement each other well and should momentarily appease fans that are looking forward to new material from either band. While Mala Suerte and Uzala approach their disciplines from different angles, each band is unified by their dedication to dark, atmospheric doom. Here’s looking forward to new material from each band in the upcoming year. Pick up the 7” from King of the Monsters Records.

Words: Steve Miller

Mala Suerte | Facebook
Mala Suerte | Bandcamp
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INTERVIEW ALERT: SAINT VITUS Guitarist: 'People Say The New Album Sounds Like It Was Recorded In The Early '90s' ...

Mark Kadzielawa of  69 Faces Of Rock recently conducted an interview with guitarist Dave Chandler of doom metal legends SAINT VITUS. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

69 Faces Of Rock: How would you describe the new songs?

Chandler: Well, I try to keep them true to what we do. I wanted them to be modern enough, so the kids, like younger kids, or maybe kids getting into us, may be able to enjoy it. But at the same time, I wanted to keep it the same, the old way, so the old fans would dig it. I personally hate it when a band reforms and they don't sound anything like they were. I think that's just ridiculous. So, I try to get it to come out that way, and it seems to work. A lot of people say the new album sounds like it was recorded in the early '90s. So, I'm very happy with that assumption. That's what I was striving for.

69 Faces Of Rock: And the general response from the fans to the new record ["Lillie: F-65"]?

Chandler: Oh, it's really good. It's really cool. I guess during that time we were gone, doom metal became a legitimate genre. There are bunch of newer bands that play doom metal, and they cite us as the influence. So, during that time we were gone, many people who never heard of us before got into us through seeing other bands wearing our shirts, and talking about us. So, when we came out again, they wanted to see the band everyone was talking about over the years. There were all kinds of weird rumors about us circulating.

69 Faces Of Rock: What is the meaning of the album title?

Chandler: It's like a double meaning. If you look at the artwork, the girls is like an addict, left behind in the deserted hospital. Her name is Lillie, F stands for female, patient number 65. And she's deserted, and whole concept of the album is the weird trip that she goes through when she realizes that she stuck in there. And if you take it literally, Lillie: F65 is a barbiturate that was popular when we were in high school, and we used to take it all the time. I used to take it all the time. It's basically a horse tranquilizer. It's just a little thing for the fans to puzzle over.

69 Faces Of Rock: Unfortunately, your longtime drummer, Armando Acosta, who is no longer in the band, passed away recently. Care to say few things about him?

Chandler: Well, you know, unfortunately, Armando got real sick, and he didn't want to go to the doctor. He was pretty much in denial, he couldn't play anymore, even told Mark and me, "I can't play anymore." We did Roadburn festival with him, and it was like three shows after that, he just couldn't do it anymore. So, we had to hire somebody to do the Hellfest show, and I've already played with Henry in DEBRIS INC. so he was my first pick. As for Armando, like I said before, he refused to go to the doctor, and everything caught up with him, and he passed away, which is terrible. Since I'm the leader of the band sort of speak, I was the one who had to call him and tell him he was not in the band anymore. Of course he got mad, and talked a bunch about it on the internet, which was expected. But, unfortunately, that was the last time that I got to speak to him when he was pissed at me, so he passed away being mad at me. I feel crappy for that, but we begged him to go to the doctor, and he just refused.

69 Faces Of Rock: What general memories do you have of Armando?

Chandler: He was always a good guy. He was always a joker, always doing stupid, silly kid jokes. Saying stupid things, and making us laugh. He was really cool and fun to jam with all those years. He was a good guy.

69 Faces Of Rock: After all that hard work in the '80s and '90s, were you surprised by the legacy you've left behind?

Chandler: I was very pleasantly surprised. We quit in 1995 because it didn't make any difference, and it didn't. Nobody gave a shit at all, except for us. We'd figured, that's it. And once this started happening, we were like, "What the hell is going on?" People were bringing their children to us who grew up listening to us. It's a really good feeling to know that all the hard work we actually did, did something. We just didn't know about it.

Read the entire interview from 69 Faces Of Rock




Nov 28, 2012

How Texas Rawks (Interview with Venomous Maximus) ...

Venomous Maximus is not a typical Doom/Stoner band but I’ll be damned if songs like “Give up the Witch” won’t be worshiped by fans of Doom, Stoner, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock…you name it! Mixing all kinds of hard (and not so hard) influences, their debut “Beg Upon the Light” was one of the best surprises of the year. Whatever your background is a great record is a great record. In this is an interview with Gregg Higgins (Vocals, Guitars), talks about his vocals, the sacrifices the band members had to make, and Texas…what else!


Dr.Doom: Hello Gregg, before we start this interview do you mind giving some details about the background of the band’s members and how you guys got together?

Gregg: Montrose is a very small neighborhood where we live, At the time I was running a tattoo shop. They wasn’t a very big awareness of the music we play in the area so we would all end up in the same places and the band formed.

Dr.Doom: VENOMOUS MAXIMUS is not the typical Doom/Stoner band. How would you describe VENOMOUS MAXIMUS to someone who hasn’t heard your music before?

Gregg: I wouldn’t describe us as a stoner or doom band. We consider the band to be a Hard Rock Heavy Metal band. The only thing that is doomy about us is the dark content & the subject matter. We always say we sound like Ozzy and Priest.

Dr.Doom: “Beg Upon the Light” signifies a slight shift to a more 80’s Heavy Metal direction. I mean, in this album the IRON MAIDEN and KING DIAMOND references are more apparent. Between the 70’s musical era and the 80’s which one you believe had the biggest impact on the band?

Gregg: Yea its exactly what I was just talking about on the last question. Our earlier material was more basic and rock driven, due to us only being a band for a short time. The new album is closer to the original idea of what we wanted to sound like. When it comes to the 70?s and the 80?s I love them both. There are certain things I don’t like about the 80?s and I love everything about the 70?s, but the point was to mix them.

 Dr.Doom: Your singing style is one of the most characteristic aspects of VENOMOUS MAXIMUS. Back when you started the band did you ever considered going with a more orthodox vocal style or a more mainstream singer?

Gregg: I never wanted to be the singer. We couldn’t find anyone that fit. All I know is I wanted clean distinguishable lyrics chanting timeless tales of human experience. Things now days are so confusing with the genres, the underground, mainstream. I dont care about any of it. I am not a computer person.

Dr.Doom: I also noticed that in “Beg Upon the Light” vocals are cleaner and louder, do you feel more confident about his vocal abilities?

Gregg: Yes way more confident. Singing for a band is the most embarrassing thing I have ever done in my life. Whatever the show was good or bad but it’s still terrifying.

Dr.Doom: VENOMOUS MAXIMUS has adopted an occult-type image. Do you ever have second thoughts about it since lately almost all underground bands have a similar theme?

Gregg: No not at all. Occult imagery has always been in rock n roll. It’s the basics of rock n roll. Bands have always just hidden it. It’s a product of our modern day society. Let it all hang out and 1/2 of those bands dont even know what the imagery they are using means.



Dr.Doom: Now that the word “underground” came up, a lot of artists express their discomfort concerning the sacrifices they have to make to keep doing this (that is being in a band). For example it was only until recently that ORANGE GOBLIN managed to quit their day jobs. What kind of sacrifices have you done to give birth to VENOMOUS MAXIMUS and take it to the next level with the release of “Beg Upon the Light”?

Gregg: I have given everything up a person can give up. 1st go the physical possessions, then relationships and friends. After that your physical health and your sanity. But isn’t that the point of this music is to give up everything you have and see what’s left when your bone dry.

Dr.Doom: You are from Houston, and in my mind Texas is the crossroad of many different musical styles: Rock’n’Roll, Blues, Country, Jazz etc. So, how much Texas is there in VENOMOUS MAXIMUS?

Gregg: There is a side of the band that is not in our artwork or stage presence that is 100% Texas! The music of course. We have all been raised on ZZ Top and Pantera. I think it’s important for art to reflect its environment.

Dr.Doom: THE SWORD, WO FAT and VENOMOUS MAXIMUS are three Texan bands that just poped into my head. All three are heavily inspired from the 70’s yet they are quite different. It seems like the local scene is quite flourishing. Are there any other bands, fans of VENOMOUS MAXIMUS should know?

Gregg: Maleveller, Eagle Claw, Ancient VVisdom, Texxxas. Pushmen, Beau Beasley, War Master, Wet Lungs and thats just Texas!

 Dr.Doom: You are known for supporting big names of the scene! Are there any moments you remember and you feel like sharing?

Gregg: Hanging with Bobby from Pentagram talking about guitars was cool. Talking to Matt Pike about Alien agendas, but the best was Phil, he’s a super intense person.

Dr.Doom: … It’s been an honor talking with you Gregg! Before we close I would like to the thank you for the interview and would you mind revealing any goals the band has set for the future?

Gregg: More of the same and see you on the road……

Interview By Dr Doom Metal (Dr Dooms Lair)

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NEWS: DEMON LUNG Signs With CANDLELIGHT RECORDS ...

Candlelight Records has announced the signing of DEMON LUNG. The Las Vegas-based quartet, featuring guitarist Phil Burns, basisst Patrick Warren, drummer Jeremy Brenton and vocalist Shanda Fredrick, is set to begin recording its full-length debut in the coming weeks at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, California with producer Billy Anderson (SLEEP, HIGH ON FIRE, EYEHATEGOD) for a spring 2013 release.

The band commented: "We are very honored to join the Candlelight roster. To be included among such talented artists is very humbling, and we thank the great people at Candlelight for giving us the opportunity."

Metal Hammer called DEMON LUNG's four-song demo, "Pareidolia", "earthy yet horror-themed doom metal a la CANDLEMASS with an ACRIMONY groove." The magazine called Fredrick a "wild-eyed, satanic songstress." Popular music and film site Ave Noctum noted, "DEMON LUNG has a deft touch and solid sound. Their music is clearly from the soul. Fair to say they are a welcomed addition to the ranks of the doomed." Teeth Of The Divine added, "Fredrick has the requisite sultry pipes that keep a steady, hazy tone. She has a deep, bluesy voice that fits the languid music perfectly."

DEMON LUNG has performed alongside PENTAGRAM, HIGH ON FIRE, JUCIFER, WITCH MOUNTAIN and CASTLE and will resume performing once recording has been completed.

A video for the song "Lament Code" is available below. It was directed by Dustin Mills, the mastermind behind "The Puppet Monster Massacre".

Nov 26, 2012

Seamount - "IV: Earthmother" ...

Seamount's fourth album in 5 years sees the band moving in a cleaner, more direct direction. Whether this is just a natural progression on earlier works or something that happened intentionally is hard to say, might have to look out for a new interview with the band to figure this out. In the time this band featuring the ever busy Phil Swanson has been together, they have slowly shifted away from doom metal in the traditional sense and 'IV Earthmother' is their most un-doom like album released thus far. There is still nothing to fear here, it is still dark and has its fair share of menacing riffing but this is certainly in a more 70's hard rock vein than anything they have done before.

This is the bands first ever concept album. That concept that deals with peace, love and the realization that being positive is actually not a bad thing after all. To be honest as a concept album, the concept itself seems to get lost about halfway through the album or maybe I just lose interest in it after a while. The switch to a more 70's rock approach may seem like a cliched thing to do these days, after-all look at how many bands are doing it but in the case of Seamount it seems to work for the most part. The guitar sound is my only major gripe but again whether this is a accident or was done on purpose is hard to say. Either way, the guitar sound here is clean, almost too clean for my liking. Some riffs cry out for a big meaty sound but it doesn't arrive. Instead you have a sound that seems restrained and clean, preferring to sit in the background at times rather than ripping your head off with crushing power.

Complaints out of the way then, the first half of this record is great. Opening tune 'Surrender' sounds like mid 80's doom rock, much like early Trouble or even Martin-era Black Sabbath. 'The Fool' and 'Echoes' are two of the albums most "retro" tracks while 'Just for Fantasy' and the title track are a modern take on 80's epic heavy metal much in the same way bands like Grand Magus and Spiritual Beggars do it. These songs are instantly catchy and even 'Echoes' which is pretty close to a power-ballad kind of tune has a certain anthemic charm about it. Enter the albums second half and the songwriting quality takes a bit of a down-turn. Songs are not as catchy or as memorable and part of the problem is some of the songs no longer sound like Seamount. ' Aphrodites Child' and 'Isolation' could pass as mid 90's alt-rock songs with a lack of emotional vocals to match. Even a Witchfinder General cover doesn't save the albums second half from being a tad dull.

One thing Seamount have working for them is they don't fit in a neat box. They have a retro feel to some of the songs but don't sound like your typical retro band. They are also modern-sounding in places but don't sound like a typical modern band either. The hybrid thang they have going gives them something unique at least and even if you don't like some of these tracks (like me), all of the tracks are easy enough to get through without any dramas. The albums first half is good enough to make this a worthwhile album to buy especially if you are already a fan of the band but other people may find some of it a bit too clean and lacking in guitar crunch...7/10.

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Zatokrev - "The Bat, the Wheel and a Long Road to Nowhere" ...

There is not an avalanche of metal bands coming from Switzerland, but the ones I've encountered have all been pretty interesting. Now I add Zatokrev to that list. This band combines angry sludge metal with experimental post-metal in a way that is extremely appealing and avoids the worst aspects of each genre.

The initial attack of Zatokrev is thick and lava-like sludge riffing with a direct and simple feel, revealed in the opening to songs like "Goddam Lights" and "Medium". But as each lengthy song unfolds, melodies and experimentation begin to arise...not in a way that overtakes the sludge, but which compliments. The excellent opening cut "Goddam Lights" is hammering, nasty and filthy, with a very "spiky" sounding guitar sound, but the sadness gradually increases as the track goes on and the ending is powerfully melodic, with layers build up on that original bludgeoning feel. "Medium" has much the same kind of opening but the mid-section has a long section of abstract, abrasive noise ala Khanate before returning to the original riff in devastating fashion. It goes without saying that the vocals are painful screaming, that's de rigeur for this stuff.

The tunes are long but Zatokrev knows just when to pull the plug. Only "Medium" comes close to the breaking point. The ten minute plus "Angels of Cross" makes great use of an apocalyptic rumbling in the background to add the feeling of approaching doomsday. And some tracks, like "The Bat", are just flat out sludge monsters...this last cut is a virtual template of how to do a dragging, doomy, depressing metal song.

This is certainly one of the sludge highlights of 2012 and those into the heavier side of post-metal/slowcore music will also find it a worthy purchase.

Words: Dr. Mality

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Nov 20, 2012

Ice Dragon – “Season of Decay” b/w “The Humble Titan” ...

Boston’s genre-hopping hierophants, Ice Dragon, seemingly no longer content to merely blow minds with their brand of arcane doom have continued down a myriad of musical paths that have found the trio indulging their whims and dodging expectations with pleasantly surprising results. 2012 has been a particular fruitful year for the band and when one surmises that the well may have run dry, Ice Dragon unleashes “Season of Decay” backed with “The Humble Titan”. Their latest single— rather than following a clear trajectory from previous recordings—comes across as a complete outlier that exists within a vacuum. While “Season of Decay” and “The Humble Titan” are not the successors to the despondent, droned-out meditations of the excellent ‘greyblackfalconhawk’, the tunes do convey an atmosphere of melancholia and doom.

One of the most impressive aspects of “Season of Decay” is simply the growth and maturation of the band’s songwriting and their ability, as a collective, to continually churn out high-quality tunes at such a quick pace while not falling into the pitfalls of convention. “Season of Decay” displays the band’s uncanny ability to branch-out and include a variety of sounds while still maintaining an overall aesthetic. At its heart, the opening track is a laid–back acoustic tune, but the inclusion of country-inflected lead guitar and Ron’s high-pitched croon really elevates the song to a whole other level. Despite the languid, relaxed feel of “Season of Decay”, the opening lines effectively betray that sense of calm by staying true to much of the band’s previous lyrical explorations, “They made us weak/They made us wait/For our bones/To push through the gray/Earthen tomb/In which we lay”.

In contrast to the easy-going, country-vibe of “Season of Decay”, “The Humble Titan” delves deeper into trance-like psychedelia and ultimately climaxes in an oscillating, krautrock fueled freak-out.  Dreamy vocals, acoustic guitar, keyboard, and a staggered drumbeat effectively coalesce into a mesmerizing dissonance that ultimately turns itself inside-out leaving the listener seemingly stranded in the middle-of-nowhere. “The Humble Titan” is reminiscent of some of the darker psychedelic explorations found on ‘Tome of the Future Ancients’, but rather than trying to crush the listener with heavy doom, Ice Dragon adopts an earthy, acoustic approach that is just as effective.

While Ice Dragon may have potentially alienated a few listeners over the span of their last few releases, the band’s chameleon-like ability to channel a variety of sounds and make them their own cannot be denied. Very few bands in recent memory are able to so drastically change-up their sound and approach while maintaining the quality (and quantity) that Ice Dragon is able to achieve. Both “Season of Decay” and “The Humble Titan” are welcome and strong additions to the band’s catalogue, but it poses an important question: How many more releases can Ice Dragon fit in before the New Year?

Words: Steve Miller

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Funeralium - "Deceived Idealism" ...

Deceived Idealism marks 5 years between albums for this French doom band but not to fear, they are extreme as ever and they have made the wait worth it by releasing a double album full of even longer, sicker, tortured doom. The long wait between albums came about because of line-up changes but that doesn't seem to affected them in any way at all. In fact they are possibly even more extreme now. This album is long, long, very long....so long that every time I listen to it I lose all track of time. The actual total playing time is around 90 minutes but these tracks are so slow and painfully tortured that the album can seem even longer. I have to admit this isn't the kind of album you throw on just to past the time or to wash your clothes to, this is a devastating slab of doom that makes most black metal bands seem light-weight. Most of the album is a blend between ultra slow doom metal a-la Winter and black-metal influenced doom metal but there is a third element injected into these depressive tales of woe that seems totally unique to Funeralium.

That is where major improvements have been made. The bands first two releases were sickly heavy but didn't break any new ground and sounded like many other bands in the extreme doom scene. 'Deceived Idealism' sounds more original but it is a long drawn-out painful album to sit through. There are only two songs that could be considered concise or anything remotely near being straight-forward, they being the opening 'Blood, Phlegm and Vomit' and another track midway through the album titled 'Hang These Bastards.' The rest of the album contains 4 epic pieces of sickness and filth that will have the more depressed music listener reaching for the nearest razor-blade. As dramatic and extreme as these tracks are, there is really not a hell of a lot of variation and it can get pretty dull at times. The albums 2 longest tracks, both of which past the 20 minutes mark are the worst offenders.

When the tracks are at their best, it is a interesting blend of extreme styles that works well. The band are obviously still in love with the 90's doom era and much of this album does have a old-school extreme doom vibe whether it be traces of early Cathedral or other passages where they seem to be channeling bands such as Wormphlegm. One of the most extreme facets of the bands sound and style is the vocals which are not "real" vocals at all, more like a series of tortured screams and growls. There also isn't one track that stands out as being better than the others as this album is consistent in its approach but you are more likely to be swept away by passages within the songs than the songs themselves. As a exercise in extreme doom self-indulgence, this album is almost flawless but whether you will want to revisit this level of doom sickness too often is questionable....7.5/10.

Words: Doomm@niac

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NEWS: Official press release: KONGH reveals new album details ...

Swedish Grammy nominees KONGH have revealed the cover of their new full-length album entitled Sole Creation. The album will be coming to shops on the 5th of February in Europe and 19th February in North Amercia. Sole Creation - the 3rd album from the doom metal trio - will consist of 4 new tracks and 45 minutes of music, with a guest appearance of John Doe from Craft. The album was recorded at Teknikkompaniet (Vetlanda, Sweden) by Peter Lundin; mixed and mastered by Magnus Lindberg of Cult Of Luna fame. KONGH's front-man, David Johansson, commented:

"After a very long time of hard work, this album is finally ready for release. We couldn't be more happy with the way it turned out and I really think it is the best Kongh material so far. For our old fans, I am pretty sure it will be well worth the wait and I also think it holds great potential to satisfy a bunch of new listeners. In my opinion, the album is more dynamic and has much more emphasis on melodies than our previous works. At the same time it maintains the harshness and it's undoubtedly the heaviest slab of metal we've done as well."

Track-list for Sole Creation is as follows:

1. Sole Creation
2. Tamed Brute
3. The Portals
4. Skymning

KONGH is:

David Johansson - vocals, guitar, bass
Tomas Salonen - drums
Olle Hedenström - bass (live)

Band's facebook: Here

Doom & Sludge All Dayer Set To Destroy Sheffield, UK ...

Here is the gig poster sent in by The Green Wizard for a killer all-dayer happening in the UK on the first of December. The line-up includes Conan, Slabdragger, Moloch, Dead Existence, Meadows, Burnt Earth, Iron Witch, Tree of Sores, Jacknife Holiday, Trudger and Lord Misery. It is amazing line of doom and sludge metal so you UK people won't want to miss this..

Check out the event @ Facebook

Nov 19, 2012

Death & Despair - Interview with Patrick of MYRAH ...

This interview with Patrick Essman (vocalist and guitarist of Sweden gothic rock band Myrah) was granted to us by Evita Hofmane of P3lican webzine (HERE). Well, this band is dark enough for us, so if you’ll discover something new and their riffs touch your heart then it’s enough good for us too.


How could you describe Myrah to the person who has never heard your band?

Myrah is a Goth Rock/Metal band with a dynamic and heavy sound with melodies and choruses that will stay in your mind for a long time.

Recently your band started to colloborate with a new record label. Tell us please about your future plans.

Yes that´s right Inverse Records, and they have done a great work to get the new album out there. We are currently rehearsing new songs for an upcoming release, but I don´t know if there will be a new album now, but we will record some new songs and maybe put them up for a digital release only this time. Of course there will be a new album out there for us, but maybe not until the end of next year or so, time will tell.

How is your new album "My Deliverance" different from your previous work?

The album is more versatile and we have worked much harder with it then the other recordings we have done, and also the songs are a bit longer and epic if you compare it to our debut album”Six Feet Down”. I think it´s a bit heavier too. And more songs that will stay in your mind for a while.

What is the message/general theme of your second album?

There are two main themes on the album, one is about a man who has lost everything and he is not feeling well and the other one is dealing with the matter that our mother earth is feeling very bad and we humans are torturing her with all our greed and filth and that we need to think about the future if we want to survive, if it´s not to late already. We are the most egoistic and destructive specie on earth so maybe there is no hope for us.

In the interviews journalists always ask – are you satisfied with a new album? But I will put this question from the different angle –maybe there is something you’re not sastisfied with?

To be honest I think the new album is the best recording we have done so far, but there are always things I hear in the music that I would change if we would record the album again, but I think that´s a good thing, because then the next record will sound even better. The new songs I have written is a bit heavier and a bit more progressive, so I think the next album will be more versatile and also I will work even harder with the vocals and the harmonies. We have already found our sound and we just have to tune it up a bit and then get it a little rougher and then it will be a killer record.

How do you percieve criticism? Or- so to speak- ideas how this or that should be? Every song – it’s a small microcosmos. And if you’re the creator of it, maybe it’s not easy to let somebody criticize it? Whether it is your band member or some other person?

If I think back of the early days when I was younger it was harder to hear people giving criticism on the music I was writing, but nowadays I like to hear what people have to say about the music and I´m always open to try things, if a member have some ideas and if everyone thinks that it sounds good we go with that. I think it´s good to hear what other people are thinking about the music and it can give me ideas for songs in the future.

Myrah have played in different countries. Tell us about most impressive gig – where it took place, time when it happened and audience.

Ohh, we have played so many great gigs now and when we are playing in Germany it´s always a great audience and I think that country is the best to play in, especially when we are touring with our friends in Mainpoint a german band, then it´s the most fun, but if I would choose just one gig, maybe it´s the gig we did in the UK last summer at Gosport Waterfront Festival, even that we just played five songs, it was very fun and there were alot of people that loved us so we gained many new fans there.

This spring Myrah was on tour. What were the impressions about concerts on this  tour?

We had a very great time playing in Germany. We also played at a 2 days festival with only two bands per night and that was great, it was out in the countryside and the small venue was overcrowded, the venue took maybe 300-400 persons but I think it was like 500-600 persons in the audience and people were standing outside the venue as well and there was a very good feeling in the air.

Has your public changed during these years? Where are the best audience for Myrah?

I don´t think it has changed so much, we have always had fans from children age up to very old people, and people who don´t usually listen to metal or rock seems to like us as well. Our best audience are in Germany and we love to play there.

Have you had any funny, curious incidents happen on tour?

It always happens funny and strange things when we are on road haha, I remember one time in a place I will not tell, the band ended up all naked running around in the hotel, I don´t know why hehe but maybe to much alcohol was the reason J. We are swedes and love to drink alcohol so it use to be wild parties when we are around, but we don´t drink alcohol until after the show.

I have been on concerts in different countries, but I have never been on concert in Sweden. What is the audience in Sweden if we compare with other countries?

I think that it´s much more fun to play in other countries, often the people in Sweden just stands there and listen to the bands, they are not that active. And often they don´t want to go near the stage, maybe they are afraid of it or something, because the audience like to stand in the back with their arms crossed. So Myrah loves to be on the road abroad and to meet people that can show us their feelings when they are listening to us, that´s much more fun and we will get more energy from that too.

Whats going on on the Sweden metalscene? Which bands from Sweden we must know? Something not so well known but very worth to hear?

I see alot of Metalcore band popping up, but I´m not into that music at all. But the Swedish metalscene seems to feel very fine with alot of big bands touring around the world. But I don´t really listen to Swedish bands so often, when I do, it´s bands I know you have already heard, like Amon Amarth, Dissection and Dark Tranquillity, but I can tip you about a not so famous band, but it´s not metal really but more postrock which is a genre I like and the band is called pg.lost and they are very good. Otherwise most of the music I like come from Finland, I really like the melancholy and melodies in their music. I love bands like Insomnium, Before the Dawn and Ghost Brigade.

What can you tell us about the gothic rock scene in Sweden?

The gothic rock scene isn´t that big here and mostly underground bands and clubs, and we don´t have so many big bands but we have the band Tiamat and also some metal influnced bands like Draconian, Beseech(R.I.P), and Katatonia, but these bands are not typical gothic rock bands.

What is the reason for choosing gothic rock over other musical genres?

I really like the dark and melancholy feelings in the music, but I have some other musical projects too, and those are in different genres like blackmetal, doommetal, ambient and some shoegaze/postrock. But all music I write must touch my heart and give me special feelings when I hear it, otherwise it´s no meaning to go on.

In your opinion – why bands who have started their career in similar conditions, who are all talanted and diligent, why most of them doesn’t achieve their aims?

You must have some luck and also be prepared to have some setbacks and that you have a great core in the band that always sticks together even in the roughest of times. And also it´s good to play live as much as possible, even if you don´t earn any money from a gig it´s still worth it, you must sacrifice alot, especially time and money. So I think if you are really into this business you need to work your ass off to get somewhere, none will come and take you to the golden success, you must make your own way there. Eventually something great will come from all the hard work. I think many bands give up to easy when it´s not going as they planned, but you always need to have a second plan for everything. 

What is the main dictum you have learned during these years about life and music as two inseparable things?

See the answer above, it applies on life as well. And also don´t take anything for granted, everything can happen in life.

Tell us an epically gothic joke!

How do you get a goth out of a tree?
Cut the rope!

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Nov 18, 2012

Tons – Musineè Doom Session Volume 1 ...

A rather wide variety of music styles is potentially apt for dealing with obscure esoteric and mephistophelic things like witches, werewolves, UFOs, sinister oddities, etc. The three guys in the Italian band Tons, or TONS, from Torino, have righteously chosen sludge-doom and blues for their purpose. And right from their band’s name you guess whatever is coming will be heavy …Tons band is involving three young guys from the local, historically blasting hardcore scene: Steuso on guitar, Marco on drums and Paolo on bass/vocals.  Steuso is also a well-known and internationally appreciated rock poster artist. Innumerable doom, sludge, stoner, post-metal, psych etc. gigs and festivals with international bands and held in Italy and also across the borders had their best posters done by Steuso. You may also remember Steuso’s blooming cover art of the Fatso-Jetson/ Oak’s Mary split. Well, Steuso’s flamboyant, luscious graphic style is somehow contrasting with the very first visual impact of Tons’ debut opus, the dark album Musineè Doom Session Volume 1.
Forget the vivid colours. The look of this album is dark and weird like the things that are told in it. Dark brown package, a blurred vintage-looking, yellowish, innocent-looking photo of a mountain. No devils, no goats. If you look carefully will notice just some simple geometric outlines overlapping over said blurred photo, some small saucer-shaped UFOs and a door floating in the sky over the top of the mountain. The only flash of color will come when uncovering the bright green vinyl of the limited edition LP version.

But don’t get me wrong: the layout of the album, both in the special digipack and the LP editions, is extremely well cured and tricky, that is absolutely smart.  Then Tons’ music will blow you up: luscious, heavy and evil. The chilling feeling of evil will be especially conveyed by Paolo’s scary, banshee-like hissing vocals.  Why this album about that innocent-looking mountain? Tons’ hometown, Torino, in north-western Italy, is probably the best-known and most intensely satanic city in Italy. In the past the imposing valleys dissecting the Alpine belt in front of Torino were a shelter for “heretics” escaping Inquisition, and were raided by armies and gold diggers for centuries. These valleys and mountains are therefore, more than elsewhere, secular sources of hundreds of scary, gothic tales about witches, profaned tombs, evil priests, zombies, werewolves, alien visitors, bloody deeds, monsters, etc. possessing the same repulsive charm as in Yeats’ as well as Lovecraft’s gloomy tales. So Tons’ Musineè Doom Session Volume 1 is a collection of dark, heavy ballads telling about some of the weird things and grim tales that populated these guys’ childhood. The blurred photo depicts Mount Musinée in front of Torino: a pyramidal mountain with an anomalously bold, sterile top and bearing signs of unraveled, ancient rites, dolmens, carvings, and sinister will-o’-the wisp-like light phenomena and apparitions. The booklet in the album tells much about what is believed to have happened around there. It is an ideal site for weird witches’ and esoteric tales to be told in gloomy rainy nights and, why not, to be played from a slimy green LP!


 But after this long intro let’s go through the music. With its six ballads Musineè Doom Session Volume 1 will entertain you for almost 35 minutes with its trve, filthy swampy sludge and sabbathian doom vibe. Swampy music for a haunted mountain! But the inspiring “swamp” is not invaded by water lilies and dragonflies: it is a foggy swamp populated by slimy beasts that turn to blood-thirsty monsters after twilight, as in the old horror movies. The retro-looking cover photo and this swamp horror movie feeling is reinforced by the vintage spoken samples employed in the intro, like in an old episode of Cosmos documentaries.  That’s your ticket for a doom trip to this mountain and its unraveled secrets.  But the groove that invariably drenches Tons’ filthy sludge-doom heaviness suggests that these guys are having good time indeed and like to diverge excessive tension by means of shots of heavy blues psychedelia as well as with humour. As to the latter, check out the titles of some tracks: “Once Upon a Tentacle”, “Rime of the Ancient Grower”, “Tangerine Nightmare”, “At War with Yog-Sothoth” (obviously …) Anyway, Tons’ ballads are awesome slabs of distorted, weed-scented doom metal lead by sinister monolithic riffs, devastating drumming, killer dynamic accelerations reminding of the hardcore background of the band, and menacing, strained, wicked vocals. Paolo’s vocal style is unique in its blackened sickness although it shares some features with Weedeater, Bongzilla, Iron Monkey or, even better, with the “trve” banshee of black/doom, Vanessa Nocera in Wooden Stake. The generous acid psych and blues background in Ton’s style imparts a deeply infectious, retro groovy vibe to the riffs, the same swampy badassery as, for example, in Wo Fat, Down and in the more achingly bluesy moments in Eyehategod.

Try the opening eponymous track, for example, or else the second part of the stunning “Rime of the Ancient Grower”. Well, in “Rime of the Ancient Grower” you are bombed by molasse-like monotonic riffs acting like heavy dope, a bit like in Electric Wizard, while your mind is torn apart by the wild, ravaging vocals. The haunting ballad “Tangerine Nightmare” is the object of Tons’ official video. It is probably the most varied track with some radical tempo changes, variation in chanting and the evocation of truly obscure atmospheres where the pace is slowed down at maximum. Tracks “Ketama Gold” “At War with Yog-Sothoth” somehow share a similar dynamic structure as they are developed by some very tense, powerful plodding to galloping riffing. In “Ketama Gold” however I get thoroughly conquered, i.e. I’m definitely dragged into one of those caves and crypt of that nasty mountain, when those sick vocals are added in the last two minutes. The 7 minutes-long final, powerful instrumental track “At War with Yog-Sothoth” starts with a disturbing, wavy buzz but the plodding leading riffage will soon grow and develop in its full epic power.  So, probably nothing new was invented but what is heard here is highly rewarding and very well done. Top-notch production and mastering were, respectively, in the hands of Danilo “Dano” Battocchio (in band Last Minute to Jaffna) and Lorenzo Stecconi (in band Lento). Tons’ debut album Musineè Doom Session Volume 1 is the fiftieth, number 50, release of the lively underground Italian label Escape From Today.  A significant goal for an underground label and an excellent debut for Tons. We’ll hear more from them. I can see it in my crystal ball …

Words: Marilena Moroni

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Tons – Video: Tangerine Nightmare





NEWS: BLACK BOMBAIM TO TOUR EUROPE THIS FALL ...

The Portuguese psychedelic outfit Black Bombaim is about to destroy Europe starting next week, on their Fall Tour of 2012. After a much anticipated and critically acclaimed sophomore record entitled "Titans", featuring guests as diverse as Steve Mackay (The Stooges), Isaiah Mitchell (Earthless/Howlin Rain) and Noel V. Harmonson (Comets on Fire/Sic Alps), the heavy psych trio will tour Central Europe promoting this release, making it's first appearance on countries such as Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. Besides this Fall Tour, the band has already been confirmed to play in 2013 at the famous Roadburn Festival in the Netherlands and the first edition of Alchemy at Zahar Festival, in the Moroccan desert. Check out showdates below! Listen and Buy "Titans" here: Bandcamp
20.11. (PT) VILA REAL // Club de Vila Real
21.11. (ESP) SAN SEBASTIAN // Le Bukowski
22.11. (FR) PARIS // Les Combustibles
24.11. (D) BERLIN // White Trash
25.11. (D) HALLE(Saale) // Hühnermanhattan Klub
26.11. (D) - REGENSBURG // Winter-VOID
27.11. (D) - WÜRZBURG // Immerhin Würzburg
28.11. (LU) LUXEMBOURG // Rocas
29.11. (NL) UTRECHT // Le Guess Who? Festival
01.12. (B) GEEL -//Yellowstock Winterfest
02.12. (FR) LILLE // TBA
03.12. (FR) NANTES // TBA
04.12. (FR) TOULOUSE // TBA
05.12. (ESP) BARCELONA // Be Good Club
06.12. (ESP) MADRID // Space Cadet
07.12. (PT) CARTAXO // CentroCultural
08.12. (PT) BRAGA // Bracara Extreme Fest 2012


”Titans is the sound of an intergalactic sprawl, with every swirling shade of the known universe used to almost overwhelming effect. Rock-solid riffs, long, time-bending improvisations, those woobly-boobly synths – all present and accounted for, of course, but they’ve brought with them some unexpected yet very welcome guests."
Revolt of the Apes

"Black Bombaim are both exceedingly trad and ultra-revolutionary. A jam band? Kind of. Just believe in the power of these sounds and the matter of how they fit round your expectations will be an irrelevance."
Beard Rock

"This is a hugely enjoyable and invigorating piece of old school cosmic excess and should appeal to any of you out there who are so inclined. More please." Terrascope

"What results are four shameless, galloping weed jams with great swathes of blown-out Heads-esque guitar tones, a pummelling tractor bass that’s nestled in somewhere between Bent Saether and Al Cisneros and simple, heavy, Bill Ward-ish drum grooves"
Norman Records

"Titans is a daunting record, not easily digestible in a handful of sittings, but the returns and rewards are bottomless and boundless. If ever a record lived up to the promise of its name, this is the one."
Sunrise Ocean Bender

Praise The Lord - Interview With UK's OVERLORD ...

Overlord are an Oxford based metal band formed in 2011 by Josh Knight and Tal Fineman. Very soon after they formed, they welcomed Rhys Williams and Kyle Edwards to form the initial lineup of the band. Overlord's sound is heavily influenced by blues and classic metal, but they also draw influence from stoner/doom bands and other, more conventional rock and metal. (Bandcamp )

1. When did Overlord form-when did you get together?

 We formed in May 2011, after Rhys (lead guitar) and I parted ways with our previous band due to artistic differences. We were fed up of playing the same old cover songs and wanted to take things seriously, in a heavier direction, and hence Overlord was born. We were pretty lucky to find each other, without making any changes to the original lineup of the band, considering our musical influences aren't the sort of thing most teenagers (even the ones who listen to metal) like!

2. Has the debut album been released yet? Could you tell us about the recording of the album?

We released our debut EP on June 1st 2012 having recorded it at TAD Studios in March. We had been jamming and songwriting for months before and decided we wanted to get something down on record. The recording process was really fun - we were in the studio from 9-5 over three days. After waiting a few weeks for it to all be mixed and mastered, we sent the tracks off to the duplicator. As it was our first ever run, we decided to limit the amount to 100 signed and numbered copies, each with some merch and bonus content. It was tiring and quite intense at times, but overall it was a great experience.

3. Could you name some of your influences in blues and rock? Any favorite albums?

 As a band we, like a lot of other metal bands are heavily influenced by Black Sabbath. Personally, I'm a huge Graveyard fan, with "Hisingen Blues" and "Lights Out" being two of my all time favourite albums. Aside from Graveyard, and other bands, such as Wishbone Ash, Witchcraft, and Pentagram, I enjoy listening to many different genres of music, from folk to jazz to death metal.

4. Does the band have any interest in magic and the occult,that may inspire the band's music? who writes the band''s lyrics?

Nothing more than a passing interest, I'd say we're more interested in writing about the real, tangible world. As for lyrics, our vocalist Tal tends to write most of them.

5.  How does the band work out it's sound-a mix of hard rock,metal and stoner rock? Is there any improvisation involved? Do you jam often to work out the songs for the album?

 We write a lot through collaborative jamming - that's how the opening track of the EP 'Crawl On' was born. We'll head into the rehearsal room, and start jamming on a riff and try to make something of it. Rhys also does a fair share of songwriting himself - 'What The Hell' and 'The Valley' from our EP were almost completely written by him, though we all like to add our own touch.



6. Will the band be playing any live festivals over the upcoming year?

We have nothing booked yet but its something we'd love to do. Although it isn't  a festival, we're playing at 'Till Death Doom Us Part' in Bristol in March 2013, alongside Witchsorrow, Khthon and Caravan Of Whores, which we're pretty stoked for. We're still booking gigs for 2013, so promoters and festival organizers, get in touch!

7. What genre of rock or metal is most popular in the UK nowdays? why is stoner metal  popular? why this interest in retro-bands like Black Sabbath?

A lot of popular stuff tends to be really watered down and generally dull, but then within the metal world, people seem keen to push things heavier and heavier - I think Stoner is popular because its the antithesis to all that - its just about simple, groovy, powerful riffs.

8. What lies in the band's future?

We have to think short term. As we're still young, things such as University are always at the back of our minds, but we want to take things as seriously as possible for as long as we can, so we'll be doing as much more gigging as possible, and there might be some more recordings in the works as well!

Interview By John Wisniewski

Overload | Facebook

Nov 17, 2012

Monads - "Intellectus Iudicat Veritatem" ...

Monads first released 'Intellectus Iudicat Veritatem' as a demo in 2011 but has recently been given the digipak treatment by the Ordo MCM label. The band with its name inspired by Mournful Congregation's 'The Monad Of Creation has more in common with that band than just a name. This is funeral doom, death doom, trad doom, black doom with a slightly old-school approach which makes me think this could have come out 20 years ago. If there was a blueprint of how to make doom metal, then I guess this band would make a good reference point. This 5 track demo, now an fully fledged full length release is a crushing dose of doom but with detours of ambience and melodicism while also injecting chaotic inflections of black metal into the mix to keep it interesting. Fans of Esoteric, Mournful Congregation, Evoken and Ahab will surely want to investigate this band from Belgium who despite their generic old-school ways know how to make classic doom metal. Now some doom is slow, tedious and instantly forgettable. As doom fans we have to admit at its worse doom can be a boring musical affair if the music has no imagination. Monads can never be accused of that, this is an instantly enjoyable doom metal album that has something special going for it. Indeed despite the band wearing their influences on their collective sleeves, every song on this album is spine-chilling, atmospheric and memorable.

'The Stars Are Screaming' kicks off 'Intellectus Iudicat Veritatem' with a brutal mix of funeral doom and black metal influenced doom. It is one part disturbing and an alarming slice of punishing doom but it is also kind of beautiful with moments of well-crafted melody and ambience. The more you listen to tracks like this, the more depth is revealed within its grooves. The band could never be accused of being "prog rock" but these tracks are quite involved in their own way. 'Broken Gates To Nowhere' is also in that vein. A devastating blend of black metal, funeral and death doom with hints of melodic metal and post rock ambience. Elements of the tracks have a Neurosis vibe about them but this band could be never be tagged as "post rock." The blend of styles, tempos and feels makes this a colorful listening experience that never loses sight of what makes a good melodic doom track. The next track 'Within The Circle Of Seraphs' is a major highlight with a great blend of crushing riffing and simple but effective melodies and while it has a black metal edge, it teaches the corpse-painted folks a thing or two about what good songwriting is all about.

'The Obsolete Presence' is more crushing doom riffage but with a unique, unconventional approach. The riffs are simple enough but are not your obvious doom riffs and that is what pricks up your ears and makes this addictive listening. Another very good track closes the album; 'Absent As In These Veins' which so heavy it can make your head spin in delight. Monads are not exactly ground-breaking but they are damn good at blending black metal with doom metal and making it seem like a natural, seamless musical approach. The band members all come from a black metal background and maybe that gives them a flair for the blending of styles. However the album is not without its flaws. At times it all seems a little recycled and if you are a fan of Mournful Congregation, Esoteric, Aldebaran, Ocean, Ataraxie and Ahab this band could seem like a clone of those bands but good doom is good doom and every track on this album is memorable in its own way. It also has the added benefit of always switching directions so even though four out of the five tracks past the 10 minute mark, the band seem to draw a straight line through all of the songs. 'Intellectus Iudicat Veritatem' is already an underrated gem in the doom scene because it has already been released as a demo but now with the digipak release, that status can be erased and it can finally be given the kudos it deserves.....8.5/10.

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Nov 15, 2012

NEWS: Saint Vitus, Serpent Venom, Undersmile and Candlemass Playing HAMMERFEST 4 ...

Hammerfest is pleased to announce the final line up for next year’s 2013 Edition with post-punk legends Killing Joke set to headline the Friday night, and the addition of classic American Doom Metal pioneers Saint Vitus also joining the bill alongside a host of other great acts. Hammerfest takes place at Haven, Hafan y Môr Holiday Park, Pwllheli, Gwynedd, North Wales. Killing Joke have inspired and influenced numerous artists over the years including Nirvana, Ministry, Lamb of God, Marilyn Manson, Metallica, Tool, Opeth, Korn and many other great acts who have all cited a debt of gratitude to Killing Joke, so having them headline Hammerfest is a major honour.  Joining them, and adding to what promises to be a truly amazing bill, are one of Doom Metal’s finest and most highly regarded acts, Saint Vitus. Hammerfest talent booker Seven Webster says “To have both Killing Joke and Saint Vitus join our bill is a personal career highlight for me, as I have followed Killing Joke since their inception, and they have never failed to impress To also have Saint Vitus play Hammerfest, who are an act we have always wanted to have grace the stage the cake on what I believe is one of our best line-ups to date.”

Hammerfest is also pleased to announce more additions including Heavy Metal favourites Angel Witch & LA gypsy punk metal act Viza, whose use of instrumentation like the Oud as well as percussion definitely brings something different to the event. Viza have been nurtured and co-managed by Serj Tankian from System of a Down . We are also pleased to welcome Welsh power sludge trio Hark to Hammerfest. Hark formed out of the ashes of seminal act Taint, and continue to take their legacy forward fusing punk attack with Sabbathian Dirge. Other acts also just added to next Spring’s event are Serpent Venom, Undersmile, Dyscarnate, Bloodshot Dawn, Bull Riff Stampede, Monument, Making Monsters, Goddam Electric, The Idol Dead, Arthemis, Attica Rage, Sansara, Deadman Sugar and Fire in the Empire.

The Full Final Line up for Hammerfest 4 next March 14th/15th/16th.

Killing Joke
Hatebreed
Saint Vitus
Candlemass
Sodom
Destruction
Enslaved
Napalm Death
Angel Witch
Senser
Iron Saviour
Huntress
Sister Sin
Evil Scarecrow
M-Pire of Evil
Heidevolk
Hark
Viza
Arthemis
Attica Rage
Texas Hippie Coalition
Def Con One
Chimp Spanner
Abadden
4Arm
Winterfylleth
RSJ
Commander In Chief
Empress
Sacred Mother Tongue
Triaxis
Shear
Undersmile
Serpent Venom
Oaf
Jaguar
Vicsous Nature
Last Witness
Iron Knights
Line of Fire
Flayed Disciple
Bloodshot Dawn
Dyscarnate
Monument
Bull Riff Stampede
Making Monsters
Driven
Black Acid Souls
Sansara
Deadman Sugar
Fire in the Empire
Goddamn Electric


Hammerfest takes place at Haven Hafan y Môr Holiday Park, Pwllheli, Gwynedd, North Wales.

With only 47 rooms left for next years event, HF 5 looks to be sold out by the end of the month ,which will mark it as the fastest selling Hammerfest to date.

For more details and tickets go HERE or call 08700 110034.

All Hell Breaking Loose: Interview with Anders from BLOODY HAMMERS ...

There are a lot of occult/horror-driven bands in the world today but few produce music as memorable as Bloody Hammers. Sounding like the bastard child of Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper, this band has produced some seriously twisted music on their debut album. The production on said album is amazing but it is the songs themselves that give this band the edge over most other bands trying their hands at spooky, haunting doom tunes. The band is very talented as players but also have the added bonus of having one very fine songwriter in Anders. Aleks tracked him down for this great interview. Now give in to your darkest of demons and read on ......... Ed


Hi Anders! How are you man?

Very good! I took the week of Halloween off from doing anything so I could catch up on some horror movies. I was a bit behind due to working on music stuff. BTW “V/H/S” and “The Woman” were very good for anyone who hasn’t seen them.

“The Woman”? What’s it about? I’ve seen only “Silent Hill – 2” if we’re talking about new movies, and I still think that I wasted my money paying for that film.

Ahh it’s sick, you should give it a shot. Lucky McKee did it with Jack Ketchum co-writing, I’m a fan of both these twisted guys. Lucky did that film “May” that was pretty popular for good reason back in the early 2000’s.

Not so long ago you had shown the world all power of Bloody Hammers as you record one of most catchy heavy doom rock albums of 2012! Do you realize that have you done?!

No I didn’t. Did I? Well it’s good to hear some people like it. People have said some positive things in emails and on my Facebook. I just wanted to make something that I would like but it’s a nice bonus if other people do as well!

Do you see in newspapers how high did raise the number of sacrifices, acts of black magic and dark rituals in States after releasing your full-length album?

Haha. We’ve managed to keep the sacrificial mischief to a minimum here. Besides, it nearly impossible to find a virgin these days!

And that’s why all young satanists start with cats! Alright, may you name a current congregation of Bloody Hammers sect? What kind of ominous intentions does tie you all together?

I played everything on the album because it was intended to just be a small project to do for fun in my small home studio. After I finished it I put a couple of tracks online but within 24 hours SoulSeller Records hit me up wanting to release it officially. We did a deal and it will be released Nov 23rd on CD and Vinyl. Since then I have put a band together and we are now rehearsing the material with intensions to play some shows. I am playing bass. My wife Devallia is organist and Curse is on Drums. They both also play with me on my Anders Manga project. I have a new guitarist, Zoltan who is a super cool guy.

Oh, man, now I see – you run that industrial / gothic project! What is his story? And does it mean that electronic music is more significant in your life then old good hard rock?

I like all kinds of music man. Metal to electronic to a dude sitting on a pumpkin with an acoustic ripping a good country song. If the song is good, it’s good. I’m not a scene snob, I’m a music lover and sniff around all types to see what’s happening. For me, it’s the triple B’s… Black Sabbath, Beatles and Bauhaus. I think those three bands are the roots of my influence. Black Sabbath for the power and sick riffs, Beatles for the sense of melody and Bauhaus for the dynamic dark atmosphere. The ‘Anders Manga’ stuff was all over the place. The first album in 1995 was more guitar driven deathrock and actually quite doom at times.

How long did you rehearse and compose the songs for “Bloody Hammers”? You know they sound too catchy, too good for a first album of the band that simply did jump from underground!

All of them came to me pretty quick. “Witch of Endor” and “The Last Legion of Sorrow” had been on my hard drive for a couple of years. I was going through songs I had been working on and rediscovered those two. I really liked them so I dedicated time to go ahead and finish a whole album. They just came to me one after the other. I love it when I hit that stride and everything just comes together. It was completed in September 2012. Bloody Hammers is a new and old project. I have been writing and recording heavier songs under that name on a small scale since the early 90’s. However none of that stuff was ever released worldwide and only available locally. Before the internet was common, it was much harder to get your music out beyond your local area, so I stopped and moved on to my other project. It’s more of a dark electronic rock project or ‘darkwave’ as they call it. It’s all synthesizer driven music. I’m also a synthesizer nerd. I’ve been doing that for well over a decade. However my first love is heavy hard rock so it’s nice to get back to it.

 What do songs’ lyrics mean to you personally? I remember that Victor Griffin of Pentagram said that “most of the lyrics were more of a warning about forsaking God and choosing the right path”. Yet, we see that “evil” is a good rock sound, naked girls and funny pastime. What is your choice?

I grew up in the crazy southern USA in the 70’s and 80’s where the Baptists were trying to convince all parents that their kids were Satanists if they owned Ozzy records or whatever. It was a frustrating time but it was also a rush to listen to music that was so forbidden by my church and family. However, as a result I never wanted to have anything to do with churches or organized religion. The Christians that I knew were insane and scientifically unreasonable. I’m more influenced by horror. When I was growing up we had Shock Theater and other late night shows that played old Universal and Hammer Horror films that would scare the hell out of me. All that stuff has been so influential. Perhaps they look cheesy to some people now, but back then they were awesome to me. I’ve been writing horror and occult inspired songs for almost 20 years now. All the ‘Anders Manga’ albums are heavily influenced by horror as well lyrically. Music and Horror has always been my escape for as long as I remember. Many of the lyrics are laced with personal metaphoric meanings as well. However, it’s therapy for me in some way I guess to write horror stories and songs. All before I was 15 years old, my grandfathers both died of heart attacks. I discovered the body of one. My father was run over by a drunk driver and my mother died a few years later from taking too many pills, which I was also the first to walk in the house and discover. One year later my grandmother went… it was just every year there was death it seemed. It was too much death for a kid to have to deal with, but music pulled me through and horror movies seemed to make the real life horror easier to cope with.
The shorter answer to your question I guess would be, yes I prefer naked girls and good rock sounds.

One of main Bloody Hammers most colorful features is your voice, who did influence onto you manner of singing?

I think many people will agree that the first music we hear when we’re kids is the best music we will ever hear. It’s the stuff that influences you for the rest of your life and just stays with you. For me as a 10 year old kid in 1983 it was so many. I loved the power and melody guys like Ronnie James Dio and Blackie Lawless were bringing. All that stuff was just great, but then I found my neighbors vinyl collection who was an older reefer loving guy. He gave me life changing albums that I spun relentlessly on my shitty little Superman turntable. “Roky Erickson and the Aliens” self-titled album, Alice Cooper’s “Love it to Death” and Black Sabbath’s “Vol.4” and “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”. I quickly realized that even though I loved the music that was happening at the time in the early 80’s, I loved what was happening in the early 70’s significantly more.

Can you comment some of your favorite songs from Bloody Hammers first LP? And please tell personally for me – what is song “Trisect” about?

That song is a little neurotic steam of consciousness. The magic mushrooms might have been kicking in around that time. I like that song... I like all of them really. I was doing some healing and getting some aggression out. I’m proud of it all and would bother anyone with it if I felt otherwise.

You’ll release “Bloody Hammers” vinyl edition at 23rd of November, which songs will be included into that release and who will produce it?

I self-produced it but SoulSeller Records will release it worldwide and will include all the same songs as on the CD and digital release.

I see that even Nuclear Blast spreads a Word of Sin selling your CDs in Europe, this pact is much better than pact with the devil which singed the band… Oh, I did promise to tell it not… Okay, I would like to ask you about process of spreading “Bloody Hammers” CDs from very beginning. How did you start a promotion of the band?

Nuclear Blast will be selling it from their web shop. All this is SoulSeller Records doing. They have many retailers and distributors that they work with. The rest of the buzz is viral, I suppose.

True to say I was very surprised when I’ve seen an art-work of your album for a first time, it’s too simple, too trendy… and damn… it’s scary. I wouldn’t like to meet with girl who wears goat’s head. Where did you find her?

If you meet her she may find that you need to be tied up and spanked! Her name is Veronica Steam. She is a friend, local model and professional dominatrix in Atlanta. My wife Devallia is a photographer and took that picture a couple of years ago. When I saw it, I knew I had to use it for something. When I finished the album I grabbed it, put the logo across the top and it was done! Look her up online! Beware though… she’s NSFW!

Which role do music and occultism play in your life?

Music is everything to me. I live to listen, write and discover more music. Before I am a songwriter myself, I’m a fan. I wouldn’t say I’m an occultist but I am certainly intrigued by it. I think most people are.



As we see old style occult doom rock is bloody popular nowadays, do you see any reasons of that phenomenon? I’m starting to think that it’s kind of subliminal longing for safety of childhood which was full of those old bands, retro horror movies and comics stuff…

You’re probably right in some ways. It was just a cool fucking rebellious time period and many people miss it. Black Sabbath was in their prime. Alice Cooper was shocking audiences and horrifying parents. Hammer Films were putting out their best gothic horror stuff, Dario Argento, Jess Franco, Pentagram was just getting started not far from me in Virginia… just the coolest time ever. What’s not to love?
My favorite music is between 1965 through 1985. Of course I also like stuff from the 90’s to present. I just like simple good songs with melody, a groove and darker subject matter.

And after all man, what do you plan to do with Bloody Hammers? Will you just return to Anders Manga or will you continue to work in a vein of old school occult doom rock?

I really feel like I’m doing what I always wanted to do right now. I’m having fun with Bloody Hammers and want to hang around and annoy people with it for a good while.

Well, thank you for your time and your music Anders! I wish you all the best and I hope that both of your projects will get deserved attention of public. Do you have something to say to our readers before wishing them good night?

Hell I’ve talked too much already. I certainly welcome you all to have a listen at Bloody Hammers. I hope you’ll like it as much as I do and maybe make one of your days a little better. Adios Amigos!!

Interview by Aleks Evdokimov.

Bloody Hammers | Facebook
Bloody Hammers | Bandcamp
Official Website




Dawn Of Winter - The Skull of the Sorcerer EP ...

I am sure most doom fans know about Dawn of Winter. They should by now, the band have been doing it since 1991 and if it wasn't for the fact that they have only released 2 full length albums in all that time, they might be major players in the doom scene by now. About 4 years ago the band released the very good and very underrated 'The Peaceful Dead' which went largely unnoticed by a lot of doomsters. Now they are back with a short EP, 'The Skull Of The Sorcerer.' The good news is nothing has changed, they are still the old-school doom metal band they have always been and the vocals of Gerrit P. Mutz are as over-the-top as usual. Not since the hey-day of Messiah Marcolin has there been such a overly dramatic vocalist in doom metal. However comparing this to 'The Peaceful Dead' and you may feel a little disappointed.

The problem is the songs just plod along and apart from one song ('Dagon's Blood') there isn't much that could be considered memorable about these songs. The EP starts with that song which is heavy classic doom metal and is very infectious while being fairly short. There are huge riffs with the usual Candlemass vibe that Dawn of Winter are known for but the next three tracks seem all too meandering and kind of clumsy in their execution. The pick of these 3 tracks is the title track which follows 'Dagon's Blood' but at over 7 minutes it lacks the twists and turns to make it anything more than a band following a well-used formula. It is not helped by the vocals which seem to be all over the place at times. At their best, the vocals are dramatic and enjoyable in their epic, larger than life, over-the-top style but at their worst they warble and frankly are a bit irritating. Now that is not to say that this guy can't sing, he has a perfect tone to his voice for traditional doom metal but he seems to be enjoying himself a little bit too much on this EP. At times his high notes miss the mark completely and his growls seem to be out-of-place.

Despite that and the very rough production, there are still elements of excellence within these tracks. There are fine leads and better than average riffing but some passages sound like they would be served better in a power-metal band. The worst offender is 'In Servitude to Destiny' which is a power-doom ballad which simply goes off the rails right from the start and is so riddled with cliches including a acoustic intro, overly emotional vocals and of course a dramatic lead break that brings the track to a close. There is nothing really horrible about any of this but there is nothing too memorable either. The other track that I haven't mentioned is better - the very Candlemass sounding 'By the Blessing of Death' but it is still nowhere near as good as anything from 'The Peaceful Dead' album. After 4 years between releases, this EP does seem to be lacking in some vital areas of doom metal craftsmanship. EP's often get accused of being "filler" and with EP's like this one, it is no wonder.....5/10.

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NEWS: Controversial Vinyl Reissue of WARNING'S Watching From a Distance ...

Statement from Partick Walker, frontman of Warning:

"It was recently brought to my attention by a Warning fan that my 2006 album, Watching from a Distance, was being reissued on vinyl. ‘Would I be receiving any copies?’ he asked, ‘and would I have any for sale?’ I felt rather embarrassed to say the least as this was certainly the first I had heard of it. After a brief online search I came across the website of Kreation Records in America advertising pre-sales of a vinyl reissue of the album. I immediately telephoned the label and asked who the record was licensed from and what the deal was; to my knowledge Cyclone Empire had exclusive rights to the album. It transpired that Cyclone Empire had been licensed the album for CD release only. Miskatonic Foundation had licensed the record to Kreation for a vinyl reissue (the first vinyl release was the attractive but hard-to-find Metal Supremacy release in 2008). I was angry and upset that this record has been reissued without my band’s knowledge and consent, without our involvement in its conception and design, and that no offer has been made to us to participate in the profit of this release.

This morning I received a shipment of the reissued album from Kreation Records (our share of the deal, apparently) and I was heartbroken and utterly deflated. Everything from the bastardised cover art, badly photoshopped and redesigned text layout, bad quality packaging and even a new “thanks list” penned by The Miskatonic Foundation is reason enough for me to ask you that if you care about Warning and its music then to consider this statement before investing. While it is not in my nature to vent publically, I feel I have no choice now other than to offer an explanation and an apology of sorts for the poor-quality release which, regrettably, bears the name of me and my band. I was hoping to one day produce an “official” vinyl reissue of this album that we could be proud of. We have a small handful of bonus materials that I’d like to have been used, and would like to have overseen the release from its conception right through to the finished article. The bottom line is, I want it to be known that Kreation Records’ reissue of Watching from a Distance is, as far as I am concerned, unofficial, does not reflect myself or Warning and is not something that we are profiteering from in any way. The shipment of records I received this morning are going to be returned.

Thank you for reading.
Patrick Walker
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