Showing posts with label Reino Ermitano. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reino Ermitano. Show all posts

Nov 8, 2012

INTERVIEW FEATURE - Our Ladies of Doom: Maidens of the Heavy Part Two ...

I’ve found this topic into Russian half-dead forum doom-metal.ru, it was dedicated to women who do their offerings to Doom Cult singing and playing in bands. Of course it was a good theme for our regular doom-quiz, and now you see first part of our interview with those ladies who bring their charm and sense of beauty to this deadly musical art. Hey, hold your jaw, mate, we’re not going to burn any witches today!

We have 6 questions for this time, here they are:
1. What is a current state of the band and what are your plans for nearby future?
2. What are your favorite doom-topics? What kind of songs lyrics do you like most and what is an example of perfect doom lyrics for you?
3. What did influence onto your manner of singing or playing? What are strong sides of your band?
4. How do you see women role in doom music? What is women contribution in that genre besides endless inspiration that makes men writes songs about their broken hearts and burning witches?
5. Do you ever deal with drunken fans who tell you words of confession and adoration during your gigs?
6. Do you care about your appearance during gigs?


Hands of Orlac (Italy / Sweden)
The Sorceress (vocals, flute)


1) In September The Templar and me moved to Sweden, for the other members of the band are swedish. So now as long as we live all in the same country we'll have the opportunity to work properly on  new material, set show... At the moment things are moving with Wandering Midget in January and a show with Denial of God.

2) Every Hands of Orlac's song tells a story. These stories are inspired from certain movies, books, novels etc... I try to recreate the kind of atmsphere that moved me, in music. the topic I love and those that fit perfectly on our music style, are those conserning the italian '60 gothic movies. The characters, the environment, the stories, the castles, the athomsphere... everything is so oniric and so italian, if you know what I mean. Maybe the perfect lyrics ever wrote, those who are perfect for the music, are the lyrics of Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath. Is like being there, in a nightmare. And if you think about the movie by Mario Bava "I tre volti della paura" aka "Black Sabbath" you really get what's my point of view.

3) I always immagined a deep voice for HoO, slow and intense. Like a voice that try to ipnotize you. And then alternate it with desperate screams or fast parts. I think that the strong side of HoO is the mix of two different cultures. Even though the italians moved to Sweden, they really want to keep alive the italian side of the band. They we'll always look and take inspiration from the good italian horror culture.

4) Well, I have to say that is not easy for me answer this question. I cannot think anything else that some people meeting, having a certain idea of music and following it, forming a band, writing songs... All the differents and the charactetistics of these people create something special. Being a woman, could be one of these. Of course a female voice gives a certain colour, especially if you think of the immaginary around witches, courses, sabbaths... Sure enough a woman can get a particular effect to the music, but I still think that is just  an aspect of the band.

5) Once in Finland we were playing and a very drunk guy  who spent all the gig sending me kisses, took my hand and pulled me towards him. I had enough strength to stop him and take my hand away. At the end of the show he came to me saying he really loved to show, my husband was behind my shoulders, so he just thanked and left. But after all he was a nice guy.

6) HoO is a horror theme band, so we always appear and dress up like our character. I usually dress in black, heavy eyes make-up, nothing special. I'm not very much a girly kind.

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Reino Ermitano (Peru)
Tania Duarte (vocals)


1. We are working on the composition of songs for a new record and are up to playing wherever we are invited, so hopefully we can tour new lands soon!

2. I personally appreciate topics like magic, existentialism, social and religious protest, paganism, inner darkness, solitude and the inner mental struggle to survive in stupid society.

3. One of my main influences as a singer is Nina Hagen in the sense of voice variations and moods, assuming several characters within a song. This is something I try to do according to the topic or feeling of a song.
I´d say the strong sides of Reino Ermitaño have more to do with making songs out of what´s in our hearts and minds at the moment, without any genre limitations of what doom should or not sound like. It´s about this freedom and quest for individual creation. I also dig Eloy´s guitar solos and how the drums are played.

4. I believe women incorporate more heaviness and magic into doom, stubbornness and conviction without having to exploit their feminine sexual side. Take Electric Wizard, Acid King, Cauchemar, Blood Ceremony and many more as examples. In spite of the existing chauvinism in rock and metal, I´d say doom has been enriched by the collaboration of female members towards achieving a natural balance in their bands´music with their contribution whilst having to face some prejudice and harsh criticism for daring to enter male terrain.

5. Some times.

6.  I think when you present yourself on stage you´re making a statement about who you are, what you believe in, your life style and aesthetics and the visual aspect is part of the show, complementing with the music and movements on stage. You are representing a musical ideological movement and feeling its strength, so even if I wear the ordinary T-shirt and jeans I´ll add a new element that is special for me to wear on a stage.

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Ritual Of The Oak (Australia)
Sabine Hamad-Linfoot (vocals)


1. In a nutshell, we are working on our third album and playing a couple of gigs around Australia for some fun! The third album is almost finished; we've written most of the material for it and are considering recording it early 2013. Exciting times!

2. That would be a little bit of the past and a bit of our present reality: I like reading on the occult and ancient religions and rituals, so I get excited about these topics in music and luckily there's no shortage of occult themed doom! The perfect doom song lyrically has got to be Demon's Gate by Candlemass. If that isn't a perfect and picturesque image of hell, I don't know what is!

3. I get in my own zone when I'm singing and focus all my thoughts on my own psyche. The result is almost always entrenched in personal sentiments and genuine feel, and that seems to compliment our sound! As far as singing influences go, I gotta say I draw a lot of inspiration from the vocals of Johan Langqvist.
I think our strength as a band lies in the variety in our songs. We've been broadening our music beyond your typical doom sound. For example, you can hear some folky moments in Come Taste the Doom, and the songs on one record can take you through different genres. This is translating very accurately in the new album and we can't wait to see how our fans will react to our new sound.

4. Women have inspired artists and musicians since the dawn of time, so I do trust they also play the role of a muse in doom as well. I have definitely written songs about witches burning at the stake, but that's more to bring to light the event itself rather than the gender of the witch (a lot of witches executed by the church were men after all!) But other than that, I fail to see the difference between male and female musicians.

5. That happened once! At Doom Shall Rise because it seems Europe digs us! And it turns out said drunken Europeans happened to be some mad bastards; so I made some new friends. But we live in Australia, where doom comes to die, so not much praise and adoration going on here!

6. I try! hah! I usually just jump on stage in my denim vest and band shirt. I don't believe in make up much. I just can't justify spending half an hour fixing my face only to risk some running mascara and panda eyes on stage. That said, I have implemented some cool spiky high heeled boots in my live performance as of late, which proved to be popular among the females more so than boys! But I really don't tend to put too much emphasis on material crap since at the end of the day, people are turning up for the music, not my fashion sense! 

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shEver (Switzerland)
Jessica (guitars, vocals)


1. At the moment we're looking for a new bass player, because Nadine left the band. Next steps are recording a split-LP with our friends of the German sludge band "Spancer" in December or January and playing more gigs to promote our new album.

2. There is no special topic that influences our lyrics or we do like the most. But we will never write any lyrics on politics, that's for sure.

3. Some bands who influenced our manner of singing or playing are:
Black Sabbath, Eyehategod, My Dying Bride, Kyuss, Isis or Amenra. The strong sides of shEver are definitely our live-gigs. We often hear, that our sound is very varied. We don't do any "special shows", we are authentic.

4. There are too less women in doom music:) But we think that women are better accepted in the doom scene than in any other metal scene. We don't think that there are so many differences between women and men in the doom metal scene. Emotional sound may be more important than technical skills in female doom bands. This is the nature of us women, we're more emotional:)

5. Sometimes it happens yes, but rather after our gigs.

6. We don't care a lot about our appearance during gigs, but for sure we dress comfortable and "functional".

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 Show of Bedlam (Canada)
Paulina Richards (vocals)


1. Right now, we are about to release our first full length album, which is something that makes me incredibly happy since it was a long and hard process and I never thought I'd see the end of it. The band has gone through many twists and turns, it hasn't a been a smooth ride. Nevertheless, not everything is doom and gloom I guess as this album will be hot off the presses in a couple of weeks and we're planning on going on tour in May next year with an incredibly great band that are also friends of ours. Let's cross fingers that this actually happens!

2. I can't think of a perfect example of doom lyrics, because I just don't think doom, or any other type of music for that matter, encapsulates specific types of lyrics. Of course there is a tendency to write about darker subject matter in doom, but it's not the case of every band. As for the kind of song lyrics I like the most, I'd say I like to hear songs about very personal and intimate stuff, I can relate to that. Writing for me is like opening a valve, letting things out that otherwise remain stuck. I love the way Sylvia Plath writes, some people have accused her of “emotional exhibitionism”. For me, that is the whole point. It is a form of exorcism if you will. It's very therapeutic, and it's free!

3. Many artists have influenced me in different ways, not only in my way of singing, but also in the fact that I sing at all. Years ago, I would have never thought it would be possible for me to sing on a stage, I am too damn shy for that. But at one point my desire to communicate and create things got stronger to the point of it being unbearable. So I just said “fuck it”, some people will like it, others will not, in the end, it doesn't matter. Many of the artists I admire are not what we could call “trained singers”, but they still have very strong and unique voices and, most of all, they have something to say. Others have the “perfect” trained voice and something to say, which for some would be the best case scenario. Artists like Lydia Lunch, Kat Bjelland, Diamanda Galas, Jarboe, P.J. Harvey, Julie Christmas, Siouxsie Sioux, L7, Rozz Williams, etc., have influenced me a lot. I guess one of the strong sides of the band is the fact that we all have very diverse influences, from post-punk, to post-hardcore, deathrock, to black metal, doom and crust punk. It makes a really interesting mix of musical input. We love to experiment with structures and sounds and we intend to take it even further in the future.

4. The role of women in doom music is not any different than that of men. It's to make music. I don't like the term “woman musician”, we're just musicians, period. Really? Writing songs about broken hearts and burning witches? Women also do that about men, trust me! ;)

5. I have had to. But I wouldn't say that I had to “deal” with them, on the contrary, I think it is very flattering and encouraging. They say children and drunk people don't lie...

6. Not really, not more than I do day in day out. Besides, I don't think people come to see me, they come to hear the band play. Many times, there are projections at our shows, and you can't see us anyways, so what gives?

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 Shroud Eater (United States)
Jeannie Saize (guitars, vocals)


1. Currently we're wrapping up 2012 by playing shows. We recorded some songs and who knows if they will ever be released, it's been so damn long that we've been waiting on one thing or another. I don't even remember what we recorded.

2. Lyrics are subjective, and personal. I don't know that I have favorite topics to write about other than things that are affecting me at the moment. A perfect lyric could be one thing one day, and something the next - it depends on my mental state and what i'm feeling.

3. I can't sing properly. I don't have a nice voice. I can scream, but I can't do those deep grunts or growls. I try to do the best I can with what I have.

4. I see women's role the same as I see men's roles... to me it's not really about someone's gender. At least it shouldn't be. It's about the music you make and what inspires you to do it.

5. I think people are scared of and generally avoid me. I'm not good at talking to people and if I feel like I'm getting attention I try to find a dark corner to hang out in by myself.

6. Not at all. I look the same when I go to work, when I hang out with friends as when I play shows. Except I'm much sweatier when I play gigs.

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 Wooden Stake (United States)
Vanessa Nocera (bass, vocals)


1. We just had a line-up change with the band with the addition to Tony Profer on all guitars and some keyboards. Wayne’s still on drums and I am still doing bass and vocals. The new album is currently being recorded and hopefully soon we will have an advanced track to post on our site.

2. I guess perfect Doom lyrics for me have an undertone of darkness and the occult. I generally write about the dark arts, Satanism, horror topics, and touch on lighter subjects like ghost stories and haunts (that must be the Kind Diamond influence).

3. I have many influences on my music. When it comes to singing I have a wide range of people who inspire me. With clean vocals you can tell inspiration from Stevie Nicks, Peter Murphy, Siouxsie Sioux, Ann Wilson, etc. I think the strong side of the band is the whole band. We each bring our own style and it comes together perfectly I think.

4. It seems the doom crowd is a little more accepting toward women than death and black metal crowds, but I guess each woman has her own role depending on what band she’s in. Doom seems to have a stronger female presence than other genres of metal, but I’m not sure. I’m mainly in the death metal scene, so it’s tough sometimes when asked about doom and other women in the scene.

5. Unfortunately, we do not play shows. Hopefully this will change soon and we will be able to play. I have played live before with a previous band and yes, I can say sometimes guys can be a little overbearing, but sometimes it’s really flattering and enjoyable.

6. Yes and no. I care to a certain extent as far as what I would wear, but I’m not going to check every 5 minutes if my hair and make-up are perfect because I’m going to be too busy banging my head

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Undersmile (United Kingdom)
Taz Corona-Brown (guitars, vocals) and Hel Sterne (guitars, vocals)


1. Hel: Prior to and since releasing our first album at the end of May this year we've been writing and working on loads of new material. We're not allowed to say what we have in the pipeline for next year at the moment but there are two announcements that will made about what's going on in the next few months and we're very excited to get that out there.
Taz: At the moment we've mostly been hiding ourselves away in the practice studio working on and recording new material for a (currently) secret and very exciting project. Performance-wise, our next gig will be for Sirius Promotions' all-dayer on 17th of November at The Asylum in Birmingham alongside our friends Cultura Tres, Grimpen Mire and Slabdragger to name but a few....

2. H: Just have a look at the lyric sheet in Narwhal! (laughs) :P. But seriously, we tend to steer clear of quite a few of the stereotypes and prefer to use words that are evocative of the feeling we're trying to convey. “Doom” in the literal sense of (impending) dread, claustrophobia and fear are at the backbone of our lyrics, to a greater and lesser extent, some are themes, some are more abstract. This doesn't mean they have to be obviously implied either, it's more about creating an atmosphere with them – that, to us, is equally as important as the music itself and we take it very seriously. My answer is, I like to have a picture painted for me through lyrics and when the music fits perfectly too it should be like seeing a vision, this is the criteria for perfect doom lyrics.
T: For me, there is no horror to be found in many of the prevalent or typical doom themes. The terror of the mundane and the banality of everyday life are far more horrific. In my opinion, the bands that have captured this most perfectly in their lyrics are Harvey Milk - particularly on their album A Small Turn Of Human Kindness, which is a work of poetic genius; Pissed Jeans, who combine a sense of humour with a sense of despair, notably in Goodbye Hair (a song lamenting the loss of one's hair) and Swans, who displayed some truly disturbing lyrics in their Cop-era work. Personal experiences of claustrophobia, panic attacks, nightmares and sleep paralysis have been influential on myself and Hel in our songwriting, both musically and lyrically.

3. H: One of the elements that sets us apart from other bands is our vocal style, some people love it and some people hate it, but either way it's renown for being unique. Taz and I have taken our influences and over time our style has evolved into what we sound like now, vocal drawl, chants, whispers and broken hymn-like melodies. The four of us have been heavily influenced by music of the 90's, particularly grunge and the vocal character of the likes of (Babes in Toyland, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, early Hole to name a few). Also folk and dark folk music; Nick Cave's murder ballads, Mark Lanegan, Neutral Milk Hotel, to the more current bands we share a common love of.
T: Vocally and musically, we draw inspiration from a wide variety of artists. Everything from the despondent drawl of Pissed Jeans or Harvey milk, the off-kilter discordance of Codeine, the slow/heavy riffs of Melvins, the sparseness and brevity of Earth, to the impossibly perfect lyricism of Leonard Cohen. With our vocals, the intention is to add to the atmosphere of disorientation and claustrophobia created by the music. Hel and I always favour disharmony, with just brief moments of harmony, which aim to provide relief, conclusion and contrast. Musically, we utilise repetition and discordant notes to create an element of confusion.

4. H: We're very proud to be associated with the women within the SSD scene, they're all serious musicians and are extremely good at what they do, besides being lovely individuals. I think it's clear that women no longer have to prove themselves in terms of being able write, play and perform music as well as any man can. Obviously there is always going to be residual sexism by the odd ignoramus here and there (admittedly, there have been several), but on the whole the consensus has become far more equal than ever before. The numbers of influential women making an impact in the genre has grown and is on the rise, making it a really good time to be in the music scene. I can speak for us all when I say we're glad to be a part of it.
T: There have been many women who've played a considerable role in shaping sludge/stoner/doom from the early days of the scene - Lorax in Melvins and Jarboe in Swans, for example. Women have always been responsible for writing, creating and performing truly extreme music. Yes, we're still in the minority but that is changing rapidly, there are so many incredible women in SSD at the moment.  We have experienced a small amount of sexism, though this has, generally been confined to the more straightforward metal genre, rather than doom itself. Thankfully, this sort of reaction is rare and these days the only answer to the question, 'what do women contribute to doom music?' is - the same thing that men contribute to doom music.

5. H: We often get appreciative comments from people at gigs and we like to hang out and chat with those who take an interest in Undersmile. There haven't been too many occasions where anyone has been out of order, although we have had some creepy things happen on Facebook (which I can't really mention just in case). People are generally very respectful in general though which is cool.
T: Most people who speak to us at our gigs are nothing but courteous, they just want to talk to us about music, which is something we are always happy to do . The scene here in the UK is a genuine and friendly one, so we're very lucky. You do get the occasional drunkard but they've always been good natured, in our experience. Online though, we have had a few unsettling comments, particularly on our video for Milk on Youtube....

6. H: Firstly I should point out that on a normal day Taz and I both wear relatively similar outfits to those we wear on stage (and have worn alternative clothing all our lives). We always wear make up and dresses as standard throughout the week, although we do make more of an effort for gigs. In all honesty, we'd like to be like Kim Deal and just rock out in jeans and t-shirt, but that's not really our style. I couldn't live without my war paint!
T: We certainly derive a (guilty) pleasure from subverting expectations. Some people (luckily, a minority) write us off as a novelty/ riot grrl/ grunge act based upon our appearance, which, we've been told, only serves to create more of an impact when they hear us play. Our style of dress is far from being contrived for effect though, Hel and I grew up in the 1990s and our heroines were Kat Bjelland, Courtney Love, Bjork, L7 etc... We genuinely dress like this every day (which probably explains the strange looks I get in t'village ;p). We usually stick out like two sore thumbs at our gigs- white lace, adrift in a sea of black leather and bushy beards!

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Interviews By Aleks Evdokimov










Jun 22, 2012

Reino Ermitaño - Veneración del Fuego ...

Reino Ermitaño have returned after a four-year break between albums and by listening to 'Veneración del Fuego' it seems not much has changed. The style, sound and approach remains the same but that is probably a good thing. This band has a unique sound and that is rare in doom metal so if you are on a good thing, you better stick with it. This bands albums have always had a "live band playing in your living room" vibe, their production has never been great but it has always been organic and real and that is the story once again with this album.  This Peruvian band are old-school traditional doom metal blended with 70's prog-laced rock sounds but as usual they like to throw you a curveball when possible and this album has a lot of those.

The album starts off with 'Quimera' and it immediately presents the listener with a recurring problem with the tracks on this disc....basically they don't know how to end a song. This is a 9 minute epic that really should end at around the 5 minute mark. All too often, riffs and ideas seem to run their course but they are then extended for another few minutes which kills all the atmosphere that had been built up in the meantime. That is really the only downfall to the album because everything is else is doomy perfection. Sure the band can be plodding but they have a captivating charm that is hard to match in doom  metal. The guitar riffs are awesome but are bled to death at times but the vocals of Tania Duarte are better than ever. The mystical, alluring quality to her voice remains strong and even though all the songs have Spanish lyrics, she presents them in such a way that they become a universal language. I can't speak Spanish but I still find myself trying to sing along with some parts of this album, it is impossible not to.

'Quimera' is a classic Reino Ermitano opener despite being all too long but the next two tracks might just be better still. 'El Sueno del Condor' is the albums shortest track and perhaps the most generic but it is also the most assessable and that is followed by 'Sobre las Ruinas' which is delivered in the bands typical, passionate style but with no surprises for the experienced listener of the band. However when track four comes along 'Desangrándote the album starts to become far more adventurous. This track is sabbathian heaviness at its finest and the crunch of the main guitar riff is pure ear-candy for traditional doom metal fans. This track is first real essential track the album has to offer, not that the other tracks are weak, it is just this tune is almost perfect in every detail. It sounds in many respects like Solitude Aeturnus if they have of existed circa 1972, it is sabbathian but with a 70's proggy undertones.

'Cuando la Ruz te Encuentre' is another potential masterpiece that is marred by being too long. This track has a captivating blend of sounds and styles that even includes violin and what sounds like cello but I could be wrong. The track has plodding doom passages, folky interludes, psychedelic leads and even a drum solo so they squeeze a hell of a lot into the 9 minutes of this piece. However it tends to all fall apart in the last few minutes where it simply runs out of steam and just when you think it is going to end, it continues on and on and on.  The following track doesn't suffer such issues; 'Soy el Lobo' is just beautiful while staying dark and true to the trad-doom format of melody and emotion.  'El Rito' and 'Vente al Fuego' come next and the quality seems to drop just a little. These two tracks seem by-the-numbers traditional doom and even sound a bit like material they have done before. Seeing that these take up over 13 minutes of playing time, you may find yourself a little restless getting through these two tracks. Neither track is bad but both tracks have no memorable features and seem a little haphazard.

'Sangre India' and a outro piece titled 'Cadáver, Semilla, Renacer' bring the album to an end in a unique way. They blend folk, psychedelic and traditional middle eastern music with traditional doom and for the first time on the album, the extended playing time seems worthwhile. I think this band proves once and for all that doom metal can be a highly intelligent form of music. This album has considerable depth and can be enjoyed multiple times as the album brings new surprises with each spin. Fans of the band will notice, it offers nothing new but that is fine by me but newcomers to the band may hear some of this as generic doom plodding. This album could have potentially been a "doom metal classic" if it wasn't for the all too-long songs and raw production. That production is kind of cool at first but after a while you start to wonder, what it could have been with a huge sound. Regardless, fans of the band should be more than satisfied and for everyone else, if you want to hear something unique in doom, this is a band you can't go past.....8/10

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May 3, 2012

Reino Ermitaño: Veneración del Fuego Album Teaser ...

The new Reino Ermitano album 'Veneración del Fuego' is out on I Hate Records. Full of classic traditional doom with a raw, aggressive edge, this is a long overdue release that most of you readers should love. A review will be published but in the meantime you can listen to three tracks off the album here or on Bandcamp. Enjoy.


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Jan 2, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part Two featuring: Hamon and Shammash from Mythological Cold Towers, Pim Blankenshtein from Officium Triste, Alexander Kachar from Reido, Marcos Coifman and Tania Duarte from Reino Ermitano, Pete Bingham from Sendelica, Jean Saiz from Shroud Eater, Igor Sidorenko from Stoned Jesus, Jarmo Nuutre from Talbot, Janko from Temple of the Smoke, Kamille Sharapodinov from The Grand Astoria, Steve Mills from The Wounded Kings, Gianmarco Iantaffi from Void Generator, and Anton Brovkin from Without God.

On with the Q & A's ......

 MYTHOLOGICAL COLD TOWERS (Brazil)
Hamon (Drums) and Shammash (Guitars)

1. Yes, you’re right! Currently it’s a common question, however we think it’s important analyze how far the scene progressed this year. There could be fairer than starting this list with the pioneers of My Dying Bride. They released the excellent  “Evinta”, moreover released The Barghest O’Whitby. Isole also released Born from Shadows. 40 Watt Sun – The Inside Room, Black Oath -the 3rd Aeon and why not, our album Immemorial. Talking about gigs, My Dying Bride -Albion In Ruin and Cathedral with its final tour showed why both of them are huge names in the metal!

2. The problem is that not all people who download music, buy CDs or go to concerts of their favorite artists. Downloads and streaming would helped the bands if people bought their CD’s, you know the band and if you like it  you can buy the cd. But unfortunately it’s not the reality.  Everybody knows that a CD has a huge production cost, so if the people don’t buy it the cost becomes financial loss,  labels break, bands don’t record, etc.  On the other hand, I think if a band has good music  your true fans will buy its stuff and support it. I also think that attractive stuff such as digipacks, vynils, stickers, patches can motivate fans to buy an album..

3. I don’t see the positive side of drugs, but also do not want to make judgments on who uses them. Everyone knows the effects they provide. If the guy wants to use drugs, he knows the consequences, then use it with responsibility, not harming  people around you. But I think the problem is not those who use drugs, but where they come from. Drugs are the second illicit activity that generate more money in the world. Many businessmen, bankers, politicians, heads of state are involved in this trade. They would have finished with the drugs for a long time if it hadn’t been their interest.  A big and dirty money machine. For these reasons that I personally do not use drugs.

4. Man, the Mayan Apocalypse will be only one more for my collection! I survived the 2000 apocalypse, 2001, 2011 and why not 2012! Well, we’re playing for the first time in Europe and it’s an old dream that we’re achieving. So far, we’ve confirmed a gig at the Dordrecht Doom Day(Netherland) and we’re looking for another gigs.

5. Well, I’m planning  meet a few friends at home and get drunk. We’re always looking for an excuse for it and it isn’t going to be different  at the new years eve.

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 OFFICIUM TRISTE (Netherlands)
Pim Blankenshtein (Vocals)

1. Well, keeping in mind that doom metal is a relatively small subgenre we can say that 2011 once again was a very good year. Even though an important festival like Doom Shall Rise didn’t happen in 2011 there were still many other doom metal related festivals all over the place. So in my opinion it’s a good thing that there is still a lot of interest in doom metal shows even if it sometimes is very hard to get it all together. We also see a lot of new initiatives taking place which will make sure that 2012 will be an interesting year as well.
Talking about releases 2011 was very good again. Lots of excellent albums were released and from the top of my head I’d like to mention Isole, 40 Watt Sun, Fatum Elisum, Mournful Congregation, Esoteric, Orchid and the list goes on and on. So happy times for the doom metal addicts.

2. It’s a difficult discussion. On the one hand it’s good for bands when their music is widespread and that people take notice of the music. On the other hand bands and labels invest a lot of time and money into these releases so it would be nice if people actually pay for them. In that case bands and labels can continue to record and release cool albums.
In the end I think that people who download should be aware that it’s a form of stealing, so when you download and album and you like it you should buy it.

3. I’m all about free choice so if someone thinks he benefits from the use of drugs while making music so be it. So, to me it’s not a problem at all.

4. Well, Officium Triste’s album ‘Mors Viri’ is currently being mixed and should be out sometime next year when we find a proper label to release the album. We’re recording 2 other new songs early 2012 for a split MCD with Germany’s Ophis. This one should be out in June 2012 through Spain’s Memenro Mori.
As you might know I also recorded vocals for the new The 11th Hour album entitled ‘Lacrima Mortis’ and that one is out on January 27th through Napalm Records.
Next to that I recorded vocals for Extreme Cold Winter, a band formed by AJ (formerly of Beyond Belief and currently of Temple) and Seth (Severe Torture, Centurian). This 4 song MCD should see the light of day in 2012 as well.
I also recorded guest vocals for the new album of Falling Leaves from Jordan. This one should be out next year as well.

5. All the best for everyone in 2012. Hope it will be a fruitful and musical year for all of you.

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 REIDO (Belarus)
Alexander Kachar (Guitars, Vocals)

1. Maybe I don't follow the news attentively, but I don't think this year was rich with significant events and releases (except for ours of course, haha). So perhaps Black Sabbath reunion? Though personally I do not have any expectations from it.

2. I understand those bands and labels who lose much money due to illegal downloads, but I think it's impossible to struggle against those downloads. More and more people download more and more music from the Internet and that's just reality, just a technical progress. But there are people who like to have their favorite albums on CD's, and they still buy them. There is the same situation with books, paper books are still bought in spite of different possibilities to read electronic books or on PC. So music industry changes but it won't die. It's a normal process. We let people choose themselves - either to download our music or to buy it on CD's. It doesn't matter to us because we don't make a living from music.

3. If I was in power, I would legalize light drugs for sure, and maybe even those which are harder. And prostitution of course. Yes, drugs destroy health, drugs kill. And it's not a secret, everybody hears and reads about it. But let people choose their own way. I don't campaign for drug-using, but if they want to use them - no problems. I don't want to save humanity, it's not worth saving. And I don't think that after such legalization we all shall die of drugs. I saw some real examples of drug-using among my familiars and when they needed drugs - they found them despite the law. And nobody made them, it's their own experience, their own wish.

4. To compose and record some new stuff. And maybe to decide something about playing live. Coffins are not useful during Armageddon, I think. So it's just a waste of money.

5. I meet New Year at home for several years already. Maybe later in the night I will go somewhere out, but I absolutely have no plans for holiday. Of course I congratulate readers and wish them to think before using drugs) And check out our new album "-11", if you still haven't listened to it. Who knows, maybe you'll like it.

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 REINO ERMITANO (Peru)
Marcos Coifman (Bass) and Tania Duarte (Vocals)

1. Tania: Lord Vicar- Signs of Osiris: as usual the artwork is beautiful and lyrics plus music craft amazing, Blood Ceremony- Living with the Ancient: a very 70 s vibe with heavy and progressive elements I appreciate, Orchid-Capricorn : a very classic and Sabbathic feel which has all that energy I dig.
Marcos: For me this was one of those years where I get myself mostly shut away from what’s currently going on out there, I’ve just been listening to older music and writing some new one... It happens like that sometimes, I’ll just have to catch up, Orchid and Lord Vicar are high on my list for sure, I believe there’s a Griftegard split I need, as well.

2. Next one is about illegal downloads. We know that some bands can allow themselves to share some of their releases for free, but at the same time there are a lot of bands and labels who lose too much money due to illegal downloads. Is there a final solution to solve this problem? What do you think about perspectives of such development of musical industry?
Tania: I believe it´s  a way for those who never buy records or will never buy yours to get to know your music, others can be encouraged and end up buying the record anyways for the artwork and sound quality plus. I suppose there should be a way to ban or get profit from full length downloads but while Internet piracy legislation is still vague, it´s the bands themselves doing the job. All in all, I think real collectors and the crowd that digs this type of music and is into specific bands are the people that have really supported, support and will continue supporting bands and labels.
Marcos: I used to have a position much against downloading contemporary underground music, (don’t care if you download Sabbath or the Beatles or any stuff in the possession of major labels) but I’ve come to realize it’s more complicated than that, particularily here in South America, because the price of CDs and records is just un-affordable for so many people here. So I understand that people would download something when it’s a choice between that or not listening to the music you love. I believe the true folk who are into the music and can spare money to buy records WILL contribute to the underground bands and labels, as the underground folk have always done. So I’m not too happy about it, but I recognize it as a reality that’s not bound to change, and I don’t think it’s gonna’ kill the underground either, far from it. Besides, there’s still plenty of us who would not have a record collection in anything but solid vinyl... mp3s has it’s uses ‘cause it’s portable and may let you preview a band before deciding if you like it or not, but for serious listening I want something real in my hands, with good sound, big art and some longevity and spirit, not a file on a hard drive bound to be obsolete before new years eve.

3. Tania: This has several perspectives. Depends on the drug, the use and the person. Some genius compositions in music were made under drug influence. However, I believe if you let certain drugs take over your life as to become the center of it, art creation of any type will be affected negatively or left appart.There is a recreational-relaxational use of drugs (including alcohol) that helps people lower stress, put up with the pressures of work and duties, that well managed is fine. And there are drugs like peyote, san pedro or peyote cactus, ayahuasca, toé, etc. that I wouldn´t call recreational, which are usually taken within a certain ritual context with a shaman and allow introspection, , healing, inner work and also creativity due to the psychedelic images and thoughts induced as well as a better knowledge of yourself, life and so. I suppose we can call this a positive use of a plant with psychoactive and medicinal properties that lead you beyond who you are and beyond the world as you thought it was.
Marcos: Besides entheogens and power plants, I think the choice of taking drugs or other less than holy substances is intesely personal, and prefer not to get into any judgemental position concerning an artist and his use of substances or lack thereof... I think that the music that is created or played is not about how it got there, just as it’s not about the authors, but about the work itself, music and art in general are their own end, and while the means and the authors add to their understanding and contextualization, they themselves are not the point they’re trying to make. Of course the artists pour their ideas and personalities and hopefully their hearts and souls into their music, and sometimes drugs and drink and religious experiences and good or painful relationships with other may have a big influence into it all, but I think that’s all, just part of the spicing... no drug will ever create good music through a person without emotion, will or something to say, you know?
That said, I have no position against the use of drugs in music, , there’s a whole lot of music I massively enjoy that has been probably written and performed under the inspiration or inffluence of booze and many different drugs. I understand many people destroy their lives through abuse, and yet I am in favor of folks responsibly doing whatever the hell they choose without laws and governments getting in the way, and in my opinion that counts for suicide and self-destruction as well. I do have seen - and still do - some very horryfic stories of self abuse through drugs, but I hardly think lawing that up prevents anything. When people are set on killing themselves slowly, banning a substance is hardly gonna’ stop that. I don’t know, man, I don’t have a recipe for society concerning this... I can just speak for myself, and I’d rather regulate myself than be put limits. About the subject at hand, I have my own limits and preferences concerning drugs. I’m mostly a drinker, though not exclusively. I have also participated in some sacred plant rituals with the band and without, and hope to continue to do so.

4. Tania: Let Armaggedon find us making music, new compositions for a next record, touring, playing gigs and fulfilling other personal goals.
Marcos: 2012 will see us release our fourth record, Veneración del Fuego (Worship of Fire) and make good with our second European tour, which is long overdue!

5. Tania: Hoping to spend the New Year near an enchanted mountain or forest. I wish you the same or else sharing with great people in your lives. Keep up the wild and savage spirit, doom on and let 2012 be another great year for doom releases, festivals and gigs to keep that creative energy flowing. All the best to you doom lovers!

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 SENDELICA (United Kingdom)
Pete Bingham (Guitars, Electronics)

1. F**K Genres, F**K Labeling music...... it has been a great year for independent music....... If you like it enjoy it... no matter what 'box' other people put it into.......   Off course the BIG news of the year was the original line up of Black Sabbath...... who can not smile at the thought of these four originals ripping into Iron Man one more time :)

2. No matter how much you moan about it they ain't going away... hopefuly their is a happy medium..... we often give away free music and I think it does lead to sales.......

3. Drugs have been around as long as mankind.... perhaps it is in our DNA.... Who am I to judge what is right or wrong......

4. The Sendelica Ark has already been built ready for the Armagedon Floods of 2012, we have seen the movie so we know what to expect.
We will be touring Eastern Europe early in 2012..........
Feb 2 Lepakkomies Baari Helsinki, FINLAND
Feb 7 Namaklub Riga, LATVIA
Feb 8 Balerija Jelgava, LATVIA
Feb 10 Roxy Klaipeda, LITHUANIA
Feb 13 PAKAC Preili, LATVIA
Feb 14 Tir Pskov, RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Feb 16 ESG-21 St.Petersburg, RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Feb 17 Vermel Club Moscow, RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Feb 21 The Squat Cafe Moscow, RUSSIAN FEDERATION
We also have a limited edition live album 'Strangers In A Strange Land' out this month available exclusively at  http://sendelica.soundawesome.com/.

5. And here we have 2 options for the last questions. Please say brief "New-Year" speech for our readers to congratulate them with forthcoming New Year… Well, and how and where do you plan to meet New Year coming?
BE COOL, HAVE FUN........ ENJOY MUSIC :)

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SHROUD EATER (USA)
Jean Saiz (Vocals, Guitars)

1. Well there's been a lot of good releases this year and I certainly haven't heard them all - but a few of my favorites are HULL's "Beyond the Lightless Sky", TOMBS "Path of Totality", and Saviours' "Death's Procession".

2. I don't know that there's a solution to this. I know that I pulled money out of my pocket to press and distribute our cd's. I'm also aware that once a physical CD has been handed to someone, it's only a matter of time before records are going up on torrent sites for free downloads. Ultimately, if people download our album for free, but are enjoying our music, then that works for me.

3. Everything in moderation. I don't have a problem with people using drugs if they know how to control themselves. Besides, the real problem is not illegal drugs, but addiction to all of these pills and medications being prescribed to people by their doctor. That's the gateway. I know plenty of people that frown upon, for example, smoking weed, yet they take 5-6 different pills a day just to get through their day. That's fucked.

4. We plan to write, play and have a good time until this planet kicks us off of it. And then we'll be playing dive bars in hell.

5. Thanks to anyone and everyone that's given a fuck about us, bought our cd, enjoyed our music, came out to a show, fed us, gave us a floor to crash on, beers to drink and weed to smoke - cheers to all those hessians out there for 2012!

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STONED JESUS (Ukraine)
Igor Sidorenko (Vocals, Guitars)

1. As for event - hands down this is Robust Fest by robustfellow.blogspot.com, amazing crew, well-crafted fest, stunning line-up and tons of good mood afterwards! As for doom/stoner/sludge-related album - there were some stunning releases from Orchid, Subrosa, Dirge, Red Fang, Mars Red Sky, Been Obscene, ?????, Without God, Dead To A Dying World, Arenna, etc, but I'd go with Elder - Dead Roots Stirring, amazing upgrade from Sleep-worship to the originally sounding band.

2. I think CDs turn to some kind of fetish as vinyls did, people buy them just to own, everybody enjoys music via internet in mp3 and so on. Bands should upload their releases via bandcamp for most potential buyers to check, that's the easiest way out. If there's enough feedback - go ahead, print CDs or vinyls, but don't feed you illusions, it's not a show-business thing, you can't earn your living selling 100 albums per year to your fellow stonerheads. So just relax and let the music be art not the primal source of income. Any cult label got almost the same view - Neurot, Rise Above or Constellation guys are doing well even without bestsellers, because it's about art, it's not about money.

3. That's way too personal. I know dozens of fellow potheads who think they're new hendrixes or barrets just because they smoke weed or something. I'm definitely against heavy and addictive drug thing like herion, but I know many people who find inspiration via weed or LSD. Another thing is if they could find it WITHOUT the stuff, you know? The stuff is the doors, but it shouldn't be the destination.

4. I'm definitely not! We're releasing our second LP "Seven Thunders Roar" early in 2012 I hope, planning a European tour (bookers wanted!), I'm releasing some solo material in my singer-songwriter and experimental-rock projects...It's all about music, man, I don't understand all these bands on hiatus and shit, I'm sucked by music 24/7, 101% of my time. Music is my life!

5. We're playing in "Bingo" (Kiev's best club) that night, on a New Year Party. We're hitting the stage around 01 AM, so this is going to be our first 2012' show! They say the way you meet New Year is the way you going to spend it, and it's deadly true: I'd love to play with StJesus all the year long every day everywhere! Happy 2012 everybody, cheers!

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 TALBOT (Estonia)
Jarmo Nuutre (Drums, Programming, Vocals)

1. There was quite a lot of those and they all were good.

2. For an upcoming band it's really helpful to have their music out for free. Internet downloads for free, physical release with a price. Bandcamp site is really good, cause it also offers an option for the fans, so that they can decide about the price for downloading.
Anyway - there will always be the people who buy the physical releases and also there will always be the people who don't. But I think that they both should somehow get to listen to the music, there's no point of keeping your creation in the secrecy.
Artists and bands have to be very creative these days, of how to get the money from somewhere else than selling the music.

3. It's up to people themselves, to decide what's good or bad for them.

4. We're going to dig deeper into the rehearsal room and studio and continuing the work with our new material, that we started in the summer, before the touring. So, hopefully, if everything goes as we'd like to, then we can have the new release out soon. And meanwhile we're also going to play some shows here'n'there.

5. Well, have a good new year and we wish you all a lot of health and good new experiences with good music. We're probably going to spend the New Year's eve with our friends and families.
Cheers and have a nice New Year's eve!

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 TEMPLE OF THE SMOKE (Serbia)
Janko (Guitars)

1. I love bands that put something of their own into their music. We are all influenced by so many bands and that’s good, of course, but for me it’s really important how you express that in your music. I’ve heard few bands like that this year for the first time, so for me, that’s probably the most significant. Doom release of the year, in my and my band mates opinion is Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats’s album “Blood Lust”, I’ve heard it for the first time recently and they really have something special. Also, I really love La Otracina, but I’m not sure they’re doom really. We’re playing with them in May next year, that’s really cool.

2. Illegal download is something that can’t be stopped. The harder you try, the resistance will be stronger. I think that we all need to get over it and find other ways. Personally, I don’t think that if someone downloads your album is a bad thing. Every LP, EP or CD that I’ve bought in last couple of years I have downloaded before that, loved it and then had to buy it to have it in physical format. With this big vinyl revival downloads can be a boost for sales if album is really good and not a bad thing.

3. It’s something that is personal and depends on so many things. Some drugs are evil and pointless, some drugs can take you to other planes but it’s not good to take them all the time and some drugs are hardly drugs anymore… I don’t think that making music is that much connected with taking drugs, especially if we talk about weed. We all know for great bands that were taking drugs and great bands that were clean. So, it’s really just a matter of someone’s lifestyle.

4. We are already prepared for Armageddon and we even made an event called APOKALIPSA 2012 with our friends Seven That Spells, we are playing in Belgrade and Zagreb for two days in March. It’s a ritual gathering celebration here on Balkans and we play whole night waiting for stars to fall.
Also we will have new album in 2012 and a tour across Europe that we need to start booking soon.

5. I’m probably going to be home for the New Years Eve, it’s kind of a tradition for me, I like to be with my family on those days, but the other guys, especially Dušan will probably be somewhere partying full scale hehehe.
Thank you guys for the great and hard work on Doommantia, wish you and your readers the best in 2012. Don't make any new years resolutions, just enjoy some free of work time with your friends and family!

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 THE GRAND ASTORIA (Russia)
Kamille Sharapodinov (Vocals, Guitars)

1. My favorite doom album of this year is Wo Fat's "Noche Del Chupacabra".I don't know if there is enough doom in this release in a classic meaning of this word but it has elements of it for sure. I've listened to this album hundred times and still can find something interesting. Recommended!

2. I download music from the internet. I think that it's all up to musicians and listeners. Our music can be found for free in the internet and I really want to be heard by the bigger audience by all means. And it's good solution for me, cos we are not on the major label that can provide promotion and big sales all over the world.

3. I am ok with drugs but from time to time and not in big quantities. It's all personal thing

4. We will be touring the whole next year around the world. Hope finally to play USA, UK and Asia. Our fourth album is scheduled for release for autumn 2012 so it's the main thing I am busy with right now

5. I don't have any special plans at the moment. I will be with my girlfriend probably. I wish you all to be strong and happy in the forthcoming year!
Stay rock!

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THE WOUNDED KINGS (United Kingdom)
Steve Mills (Bass, Drums, Guitars)

1. Doom release of the Year for me would have been Windhand but that’s now in 2012 I believe?!, So for me it’s Serpent Venom – Carnal Altar, it’s thick, heavy and fuckin’ addictive!

2. It’s there and there is no way of avoiding it I guess! but I think it sucks ass personally, It makes music too disposable, if you’ve invested your hard earned cash, then you are more likely to invest your time in getting to know/understand the album you’ve just purchased. I wonder how many people would have chucked there burnt copy of Radiohead Ok Computer away because it didn’t grab them immediately? Those albums that are growers (usually the ones that will end up staying with you till you die) are having a bloody hard time these days!! 
If illegal downloads didn’t exist TWK would probably have had a fighting chance of doing music full time instead of having to hold down day jobs and trying to find time to write, rehearse and record, sometimes even scraping enough money together to pay for a fucking rehearsal!  Our label would have more money for studio budgets etc.. CD’s would have been able to come down massively in price and everyone still get paid enough to get by.  A win win situation for everyone. I’d absolutely love it if it went back to vinyl and cassette only, back to simpler times!

4. Shows, Shows and more Shows! We have Euro Part 1 in Feb/March, then Heavy days in Doomtown in Copenhagen in May, then Muskelrock in Sweden in June, recording our split with Pombagira in October so plenty happening!

5. Have a killer New Year everyone, stay safe! And keep on supporting the Doom in 2012!

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 VOID GENERATOR (Italy)
Gianmarco Iantaffi (Guitars, Vocals)

1.    Well, I liked a lot At Devil Dirt from Chile, their album is very interesting in terms of composition. I mean, may be not properly doom but It’s easy to understand and difficult to play it usign such sound. It’s easy and extreme at the same time.

2. Ah thanks for the question. I don’t think that labels are loosing money for illegal download. If you download an album this does not mean that you want to buy it. You can go on the web, get what you could be interested in and choose to buy it if you like. Personally, I’ve noticed that I bought much more stuff now that I can scan the web that before where I couldn’t know how much good music you can find out there. Could you buy ALL the stuff you may be interested in? I don’t. Could you try to spend so much money without any insurance ? I don’t. But I spend a lot of money for records for sure. Two things, illegal donloading and buying are separate things, It’s a typical application for the Game Theory from Von Neumann and Morgenstern. Two things are stochastically independent.

3. Well the only thing I know is that if you are done you can’t play, if you are done you can’t be a good listener, but if you are on dope and you are listening to someone on dope it will seem good music to you.We don’t use drugs but I do not have any sort of prejudice. Anyway, this isn’t a music problem at all.

4. Void Generator is goin‘ to record some new stuff, a different sound, you’ll see. We have many songs in our supply and we only have to pick up properly. To be honest, there could be some surprises, stay tuned.

5. Hehe…heavy Christmas and fuzzy new year ! lol…thanks a lot, ciao! Argghh…aawwww…!!!

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Phonosphera



WITHOUT GOD (Russia)
Anton Brovkin (Vocals, Guitars)

1. Actually I don’t look after all new releases. “Last Rites” by Pentagram is very nice album. And “Sonic Mass” by Amebix, although this is not doom ?

2. Nowadays you can easily download anything you want from Internet, and nobody can stop this. Anybody can grab the music from CD, convert it into some format, MP3 for instance, scan artwork, share it and no one can prevent it.
I think music industry is almost dead because of modern media of communications, and it is ok. Free download can help people to know about your band, some people collect CDs, so they can order one after download, some new people come to see you live. There are a lot of ways to earn money, not only CD sales. Live shows, merchandise...

3. Hahaha, man ? Drugs are illegal in our country, you know, but anyway you can get anything you need if you know some people and have some money of course. Police is not a problem, if you know some people and have some more money. Everything sells. Drugs and alcohol destroys human’s identity replacing it by itself, and this is the real problem. You want to explore the new edge of human being, and drugs can help you, but then you found that you can’t control yourself and your own life, you can only observe, and you hardly like what you see. AIDS, prison, crimes, withdrawal, overdose – bullshit. It is very important to know when to stop and don’t upset the balance.

4. We are working on new songs now, and I hope we will record a killing album by next fall and start the world tour with Metallica support, ha-ha ?

5. I wish you peace and love in the forthcoming New Year! Cheers!

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Jan 21, 2011

Reino Ermitano - We Are Witch Doom ...

Doommantia and Aleks is proud to present to you this interview with Tania and Marcos of Reino Ermitano, one of the most mesmerizing bands on the planet and one of my favorite bands of all time. Reino Ermitaño was formed in Lima, Peru, in late 2001, by ex-members of Melquiades and Darken, looking for a thick and heavy sound, mainly influenced by rock bands from the 70's and classic metal, and incorporating doomy elements of their own leading to find a convincing melee of darkness, melody, rock n’ roll and epic sounds. They are one of the most unique bands in the doom scene which comes from their eclectic influences and the unique vocals from Tania Duarte. Hope you enjoy this interview.

Q: Salute to Reino Ermitano! Who is on line today?

-Marcos and Tania are here to respond!


Q: What is the current band’s state? I guess it would be fine to hear something like “we’re working over new material right now!” Bring it on!

Tania: Yes, that´s exactly what we are on now. Just about to record our fourth record for which we already have material and which will be called Veneration of Fire or something like that.


Q: Will a new CD include so many songs as earlier ones? You record albums with at least dozen or more songs, and it’s a quiet big number, do you care about quality-quantity ratio?

Tania: It´s all related to the number of songs we all compose and bring to the band. But mostly we care about digging (liking and also the quality) the songs and their forming part of the concept of the record. No filler songs you know. And yes, this album will have many songs too. But also wanting to edit in vinyl, we have to take care of the timing.


Q: What will the new album be about? Which lyrical themes can we expect from it? Do you feel a responsibility for your listeners and yourself composing music and songs’ lyrics?

Tania: The new album has lyrics related to misanthropy, rescuing the wisdom of ancient indian culture, usual questioning of society issues, the eternal search for the dark unreal in a philosophical quest, etc.

It´s not exactly a responsibility, it´s more about saying the things we need to say, the responsibility in my case is more about composing the music of the song, finding the time for quiet composition, cause the lyrics, the poetry are always there.

It´s more an expression, a demand, our personal ideology and life experience wisdom, a small grain of energy to support awareness and conscience for inner transformation, which is the only real change. The responsibility relies on being true to who we are in our music and about saying what is truly in our minds and hearts at the moment, as well as what we feel about certain things happening out there, society, absurd, etc through metaphors like nature and dark fantastic creatures for example.

Marcos: On the next album there’s also some lyrics about falling out of touch with that which used to define you, with your essence and your dreams or what they used to be and the search for redemption with oneself at the end when you find yourself spent, alone and headed for oblivion, with no responsibility to remain true to anyone but yourself. Another song deals with the illusion of finding beauty and magic in the midst of this grey reality and being able to attain the rapture that makes life intense and meaningful (in our own ways)... a bunch of praying to our inner gods, and the totems that make us draw strength from them, which can be dream, death and darkness at so many highlights of our lives.

Personally the only responsibility I feel regarding any listeners we may have is to remain true, honest and strong about the art we make. No compromises, no intention to please, no moral high ground. People may draw what they will from what we do. Just the fact that anyone can connect with our music, emotions and energies is enough of a privilege, and anyone can use this relationship as they would... I know music from other people have helped me alter different moments in my life to my advantage, be that to get through a dark period or just to enjoy another or to draw inspiration from it. I think once you establish a relationship with a band’s music it’s no longer theirs but yours, to use as you will.



Q: I’ve read that you wanted to raise the theme of “experiences in ayahuasca, a sacred spiritual therapy hallucinogen” that you did on your last album “Rituales Interiores”, it’s an interesting theme and unknown for most of our readers so I would like to ask you to comment it.

Tania: This is ancient chamanic indian knowledge from the amazonian jungle where the vine is found. The potion obtained from this plant previously boiled with another one (chacruna) acting as a catalyzer, leads you to body, mind and spiritual healing, answers, creativity and magic. Hallucinations of color and geometry accompany the process of inner and outer cleansing and change. It´s a trascendental experience for everyone and especially artists. Doors of perception are opened, demons are expelled, colors surround you. The whistling and chanting of sacred melodies by the chaman throughout the whole night ritual embrace you in a life changing experience. This is knowledge that has been despised by occidental culture, but in these so-called primitive rituals, lies an answer to internal and external harmony in my personal opinion.


Q: You released this CD two years ago – how do you see it now in retrospective? Did it teach you anything? Do you feel you grow with each release?

Tania: You learn about sound technology with each recording. You learn about yourself and how you felt and thought at that specific time. You see how the next recording can be improved. You get new ideas from the old ones. Every record is like giving birth to a new creation creature, so you grow as a band and individually too.

Marcos: I am very happy with the way Rituales turned out, I think our music has found it’s own path, I hope we can keep on expanding from there. I believe sound-wise every record has been an improvement in some ways and we hope to be happier still with the next one! Naturally there’s always some criticism about technical details in hindsight with every record, but I believe so far all of them have been loyal to their essence. About Rituales in particular, I think it possesses an atmospheric element that I dig a lot in particular. With time we’ve been able to take more care about the recording process and spend more time and resources in it, and trying to get as close as possible to the way we sound, and stay as organic and analog as possible. We’re definitely gonna’ be headed more and more in that direction sound-wise, so I’m expecting a very earthy sound on the next one.
Q; Why don’t you write one or two songs with English lyrics for Reino Ermitano albums? Do you feel that Spanish is more suitable for the sound of your songs and their lyrics?

Tania: We can do it. We are not radical and don´t have any limitations. We haven´t felt the need to do it as merely a catapult towards internationalization. It´s not the main objective. But we could sing in English or German or Quechua if it suited the phonetical aspect of the song or the message we would be trying to convey if it were the case. Spanish is our native tongue, although imposed centuries ago by the Spaniards, it´s the tongue we normally write our lyrics in because it´s the language we think in.

I think it´s great that writers, poets, composers, directors, etc manifest their thoughts in their own language, diversifying existing creations in the artists own personal form of expression, and using English as a tool for general understanding (translations for example) without giving up on personal essence.

Marcos: Although I don’t object to singing in English by any means, I concur that we don’t really see any need for it with Reino Ermitaño at the moment... this is the way this band was born and raised, and it allows us to express ourselves in our language. I don’t see it as a handicap – I’d rather see a German movie in German with subtitles rather than hearing it dubbed to Spanish, for sure... it’s just the way this band is and I think it allows for a more powerful expression of what we wanna’ say, without having to take concern about how it’s gonna’ be taken or what opinion it may raise... I’ve never had any problem listening to music in different languages, as I’ve quite enjoyed listening to music mostly sung in English all of my life. We do like to provide a translation with our records, though, for those interested in the words.


Q: Do you have songs about witches? Reino Ermitano is one of the few bands with a lady as vocalist, you have an atmosphere of witchery in your songs, there’re “women” in art-works of your albums and you play in an certain genre of music which presuppose a presence of “witch-themes” in your songs!

Tania: Yeah, this is witch doom, haha. With witches singing and mermaid enchantresses swimming in the ocean and magic all around. Unquestionably the feminine energy is an important element in the band and brings a new dimension. We all love dark magical themes and witches are of course the incarnation of these fantasies. Witches are creatures of beauty, evil, magic, healing, sexual freedom, solitude, nature and forest, medicinal herbs. Mermaids, fairies and all sorts of fantastic creatures like these are in the same spectrum and shadow of emancipated, free women. Women of real power, not at the mercy of men, or imposed roles by society. Complete humans with all the warrior female energy. Witches are the representation of all that, and all that is feared by cowards. Wickedness and outspokenness, silence and wisdom.


-Marcos is an author of Reino Ermitano art-works and I bet that he has more than this in his background. Therefore this question is for him: which feelings do you express usually through your works and how do you feel which ones is more suitable for the band?

Marcos: I am an oil painter on my time apart from the band... honestly, the covers I’ve painted for the band’s albums have always been about expressing the same sorts of feelings as I try to convey through the music or words. It inevitably always falls back to those dark, magical themes, but in my other work, while I remain usually within figurative painting I suppose I try to work just a bit more towards abstract distortion and expressionism, I suppose album covers always remain a bit between paintings and illustrations. I love doing that kind of work, to me it’s trying to put music and intention into images. Sometimes I’ve given some paintings to bands to be used as covers, but with Reino they’ve all been painted specifically for the records they were gonna’ be a cover for, so they were meant as a complimentary visual message to the music and vibe of each album.


Q: Women were always mentioned as a half of humanity which is closer to occult forces, which feels it deeper – can you say that it’s true considering your experience in Reino Ermitano? Can you imagine the band without it’s female energy?

Marcos: No! haha. The female energy part, I mean. It wouldn’t be the same band, man... I can see myself and the others playing doom and heavy stuff from here on till the end of days, but it certainly wouldn’t be Reino Ermitaño without Tania’s witchy vocals.

About the occult and dark forces, it’s been a topic that has always fascinated and attracted me as well, I think this happens because you’re drawn to something that you find resonates with what you have inside of you as well, and I’m sure that is true for so many people who find beauty in what’s usually considered odd places, as I suppose most folks who are into this sort of genre know all too well. I’m sure women have an innate sensibility and receptivity towards some subtle energies out there but also, the fact that women have been associated with witchery in occidental history has a lot to do with the traditional role they and men occupied in it. In most South American indigenous societies the witches and shamans have traditionally been men, but that doesn’t mean a disadvantage concerning women either, I think it mostly comes from the social role that both sexes played in these societies also. We’re both made of the same stuff in the end.
Q: Does the word “doom” have any meaning to you nowadays? Sometimes bands that play in vein of the Elder Ones say that their music is not metal at all, so how do you see a soul of Reino Ermitano?

Tania: Doom is just a tag. We do what we like but the metal element is there too since it´s a sound we enjoy. As well as the heaviness, progressiveness, aggressiveness that we have been influenced by in the music we hear, that match the ideas and emotions we wish to portray.

I think we cultivate our own thing but you can hear all our influences there.

Marcos: Yeah, we play trad doom metal, we play heavy rock, just plain doom... call it what you will. I appreciate the conservative stance many have taken towards doom as a means to separate the more traditional approach from the weepy, gothy, synth-ridden crap that isn’t heavy and is sometimes referred to as doom in some circles which are not our own ha-ha but we’re not married to a name, just to heaviness and intensity, and when the mind allows, creativity! Not that we think we’ve invented the wheel or anything, we just really take seriously to play exactly what we want to hear and not an ounce more. If that takes us occasionally through a non-traditional path, that’s quite fine, too. I don’t have any problem with keeping an open mind and there’s all sorts of bands and music that I listen to and enjoy that are not within the confines of strict doom.


Q: You have been playing since 2001 and you released the first album “Reino Ermitano” in 2003, what was a birth of the band for you?

Tania: The band was born since we got together and has reborn many times with every album release, every good concert and the tours we´ve made.

Marcos: I suppose we’ve also had some sort of new re-birth a couple of years ago when there was a change within our ranks. Our former guitarist Henry Guevara departed from the band after Rituales and we’ve been playing for some time now with Eloy at the guitar which has definitely infused some new elements into our sound, very much in a good way, as he’s a great musician and a kin soul. Hopefully you’ll be able to appreciate his input soon in our next release.


Q: Doom-bands often have a bunch of records besides their full-length albums – singles, EPs, split-albums, but you have only full-length ones, can we say what it is one of differences between bands of South America and European bands for example? Can you say you have your own way of producing, playing and spreading your music?

Marcos: I guess for us it’s always been about gathering all the songs we have at a given period of time and have them all represent that era, so we always plan for full-length and choose our songs and put them together with that in mind. We’re picky so the ones that don’t make it, just don’t get there. We have our own way for sure, although I don’t think it’s rocket science or extremely original or anything like that, just what we’re comfortable with... we’re not in a race by any means, we take our things in our own pace and as reality allows. We’re not set to produce something every year or every few months just “to be out there” you know? We’ve no problem with doing a split or an EP if the opportunity comes, it’s just that so far, we’ve only committed the time and energy to doing things this way, ‘cause recording isn’t that easy and when the time comes we totally try to give it our best effort and make an album of it. This time around we have a lot of tunes that are important to us in the works, though, so we’re not ruling out recording a further session relatively shortly after the next album, and see what we make of that.


Q: Marcos said in an interview for one web-zine that Peruvian metal scene “is very rooted in 80’s thrash metal” – how do you think why did it happen?

Marcos: I have no idea man, it’s strange to me. It’s not just the metal scene, it’s a lot of the music in general, even radio stuff. I love eighties metal, so I have no problem about it, but I guess most of the 30++ metal generation here isn’t all that much into new stuff, what can I say. It’s not a bad things, metal bars here will play thrash through most of the night which is quite suitable for drinking, I think!


Q: How do you promote your music in Peru and in other parts of world?

Marcos: Our last record was published, promoted and distributed by Sweden’s I HATE, and the one before that by PsycheDOOMelic from Austria, so they took care of that end. Over here we print a limited amount of copies through our label Ogro Records for the local folk. We don’t promote much around here, just through gigs, fanzines and the web.


Q: It was the last questions for this time. Thank you very much for your patience and answers! Good luck!

Tania: Thanks for the interview. I really enjoyed your questions. Cheers to those who like our music and support us and to brother bands like ours. Thanks for reaching further and finding something that resonates with you in underground art and also what we do, going beyond the craziness and absurd of today´s world. Maintain the savage spirit, continue dancing in the forests, climbing mountains, seeking the spectral aura that lies within but mostly, dooming what thou wilt.

Marcos: Much thanks for the cool interview, hope we can start crossing the borders and play abroad soon. Much thanks to all the people from outside who listen to and care about our music, it truly is more than I had ever expected when we started this band. Do what you want and stay true to the heavy shit within. DOOM ON
Interview By Aleks Evdokimov


Reino Ermitano @ Myspace

Jun 30, 2010

Reino Ermitaño - Brujas Del Mar

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Since forming in Lima, Peru, in late 2001, by ex-members of Melquiades and Darken, Reino Ermitano have produced some of the most inspiring and artistic Doom Metal of the last 10 years. Two recordings really stand out, one is 2008's "Rituales Interiores" and the 2006 album "Brujas del Mar" which i am going to talk about here. What makes Reino Ermitano so unique and such a interesting band is that they follow some of the rules from the Doom Metal handbook while other rules they throw away completely and put a unique twist on the genre by incorporating 70's rock influences such as a Jethro Tull kind of folk-rock sound to their albums. They also have one of the most stunning female vocalists in Tania Duarte, a vocalist that are gained quite a mix reaction from the doom community. Not everyone is mesmerized by her voice like i am, her voice was even called "infantile" in one review and in another "bland and undeveloped". Such opinions haven't hurt the band though, they are much admired for their musical ability and the creative ways they construct albums. "Brujas Del Mar" is simply a masterpiece, a timeless journey of different moods and emotions that among other things represent freedom from all of society's constrictions.

Reino Ermitano ("Hermit Kingdom") and the Brujas Del Mar' ("Witches of the Sea") is a hour of charismatic music that flows perfectly between crushing heaviness and somber moods and sometimes all within the one song. After the intro "La Corte" comes "Curandero De Una Realidad Incierta" with a riff, Saint Vitus would be proud of and add to that Tania Duarte's emotive doominess and you have a sound that is one part pure doom, another part kind of tribal. "Voragine" is as solid as any Doom song ever written with stunning guitar work from Henry Guevara who has now been replaced with Eloy Arturo who is a killer guitar player in his own right. There is other crushing doom in songs like "Crepuscular" and "Hoy, La Tarde" that take the vibe of Saint Vitus, Black Sabbath, Pentagram and give it a earthy, native feel that i am guessing comes from their Peruvian background. They also blend in other instruments that are rare for a doom band such as mandolin's and flutes, these mellow touches only make the heavier parts even more heavier and they insert these elements at just the right time to full effect. "Elipses" is one track where they blend insidious riffage with a macabre, ethereal atmosphere and if you dig horror-tinged dirges like that, then this album is for you.

Elsewhere on the album, "El Fauno", "Rosas Del Reves", "Oceania" and the closing "Magdalena Del Mar" are all outstanding moments of songwriting brilliance. There is i must admit, a couple of downtime's but those moments are short and few and far between the cavalcade of Traditional Doom riffing that is so high up on the class scale. While this is Traditional Doom Metal, they blend a songwriting ethic forged on the likes of classic rock bands from Jethro Tull to Budgie giving them a character that is Reino Ermitano and no one else. Its Doom Metal for the mature Doom Metal fan that gives you a kind of spiritual high while listening to them. It must also be noted that Marcos Coifman (bass) and Julio Almeida (drums) are a amazing duo that is only matched by Butler/Ward or Jones/Bonham for a rhythm feel that is all their own. Tania Duarte’s consistently emotive vocals paint pictures in your mind and her voice is one that is natural and expressive. While Duarte's delivers the lyrics in her Spanish tongue, if you are like me you wont even notice it. Her voice blends so well with the instrumentation that its like another instrument in itself and for those who have reservations about foreign language bands, fear not – Reino Ermitano provide English translations to their lyrics.

There is a very few bands in the Doom scene of now to compare Reino Ermitano to, it is more relevant to compare them to obscure late 60's bands like Chile's Aguaturbia for example but played with  mind numbing, minor-chord riff excursions. In conclusion, "Brujas Del Mar" is a hypnotic album played by excellent musicians creating something to stand the test of time. Dark, cerebral and mesmerizing it is their best album thus far with their other albums running a close equal second. If you have never heard them, do it soon. 9.5/10

Reino Ermitaño
Reino Ermitaño @ MySpace
Psychedoomelic Records

  
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