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    Today, thursday, February 14th, 2013, is the official day for the new video and digital single taken from the forthcoming new album by the legendary Italian occult doom/heavy/speed metal band DEATH SS. The new album, “RESURRECTION”, is due out in April 2013. The track in the video is called OGRE’S LULLABY and it was written by Death SS’s frontman Steve Sylvester and Freddy Delirio. The track was recorded, mixed and mastered at the FP Recording Studio run by Freddy Delirio a.k.a. Federico Pedichini (Death SS’s keyboard-player).   The video was produced by the acclaimed Italian film directors Manetti Bros., and includes clips from the 2012 horror movie “Fear 3D”, which was directed by the Manetti Bros and hosted track Ogre’s Lullaby in the main soundtrack.

    Actually Ogre’s Lullaby is not the second single (and video) taken from the new album by Death SS. The first single, and video, is track THE DARKEST NIGHT which had been included in the soundtrack of another 2012 horror movie, The Darkest Night, directed by John Morrison and produced by The National School of Independent Cinema. The track had been included in the eponymous EP comprising the full film soundtrack , released in 666 copies on December 21st  2012 and gone sold out in about 48 hours!

    Tracks and videos Ogre’s Lullaby and The Darkest Night show the two (wicked) souls of this band: occult, morbid atmospheres and  nasty, fast and flamboyant tunes. The line-up of these tracks already included the new entry, the powerful drummer Bozo Wolff. So while waiting for a new, much awaited serve of blasphemy and blazing heavy metal from these Italian legends, get hold of the new tracks via I-Tunes and/or enjoy then via the videos below.

    Words: Marilena Moroni

    Death SS – Official Website

    Death SS - Ogre's Lullaby

    Death SS – The Darkest Night 

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    Seattle doom merchants SAMOTHRACE will embark on their eagerly anticipated U.S. Winter tour in support of their commended Reverence To Stone LP with a hometown show tomorrow, February 15th.

    For the duration of the tour, SAMOTHRACE will be performing Reverence To Stone in its entirety as their set list each night. Joined by Metal Blade doom trio Pilgrim for the majority of the trek, the tour will make a mangled, counter-clockwise loop through the Midwest, Gulf Coast, Southeast and up the East Coast, with eighteen cities confirmed to endure their slow motion turmoil during the venture.

    The tour is sponsored by Invisible Oranges who today posted  a pre-tour feature on the band.  On the creation of SAMOTHRACE’s mammoth but infectious hymns, guitarist Brian Spinks states, “Our songs start with a set of riffs and we play it a couple different ways and play until it varies. We spend a lot of time making sure everything flows together and when we play the song over and over, the riffs then start to evolve and morph in and out of each other.”

    In a recent MetalSucks tour feature, SAMOTHRACE drummer Joe Axler commented, “When we perform these songs live most of the time we end up actually playing some parts slower and some parts faster depending on the mood we are in and the feeling we are getting in the room and from the people in attendance. We feed off of the people in the crowd greatly and (without sounding too hippy) the general aura at each show has a huge affect on how our set goes.”

    Additionally, Cvlt Nation posted an artist-to-artist feature  with SAMOTHRACE and hometown heavyweights Black Breath to help kick off the tour.

    Reverence To Stone continues to stream in its mesmerizing entirety at Pitchfork

    SAMOTHRACE U.S. Winter Tour:

    2/15/2013 The Highline - Seattle, WA

    2/17/2013 Rotture - Portland, OR

    2/19/2013 Triple Nickle Tavern - Colorado Springs, CO

    2/20/2013 Aqualung - Denver, CO

    2/21/2013 The Conservatory - Oklahoma City, OK

    2/22/2013 Rubber Gloves - Denton/Dallas, TX

    2/23/2013 29th Street Ballroom - Austin, TX

    2/24/2013 Siberia - New Orleans, LA w/ Pilgrim

    2/25/2013 The Bottletree Cafe - Birmingham, AL w/ Pilgrim, Stoned Cobra, Black Hole Kids

    2/26/2013 529 - Atlanta, GA w/ Pilgrim

    2/27/2013 Slim's Downtown - Raleigh, NC w/ Pilgrim

    2/28/2013 Strange Matter - Richmond, VA w/ Pilgrim

    3/01/2013 Saint Vitus Bar - Brooklyn, NY w/ Pilgrim

    3/02/2013 Beaumont Warehouse - Philadelphia, PA w/ Pilgrim

    3/03/2013 Ottobar - Baltimore, MD w/ Pilgrim

    3/04/2013 Howlers - Pittsburgh, PA w/ Pilgrim

    3/05/2013 Now That's Class - Cleveland, OH w/ Pilgrim

    3/06/2013 The Ultra Lounge - Chicago, IL

    SAMOTHRACE will tour on European soil for the first time ever this Spring on a two-week tour of the continent, lead off performing at  Heavy Days in Doomtown. The international DIY doom/stoner/sludge festival in Ungdomshuset, Copenhagen, Denmark runs from May 2nd through 5th, this year featuring Graves At Sea, Pagan Altar, Cough, Procession, Danava, Moss, Bell Witch, Dark Buddah Rising, Conan, Lecherous Gaze, labelmates Mournful Congregation and loads more. A confirmed tour itinerary for this trek will be announced shortly.

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    Italy isn’t only country where progressive and psychedelic music firmly rooted in doom metal ground, it’s not only place of occult forces and militant Christianity. Just search here and there an you’ll find some rare gems as Obake band is. “Ranging from doom and extreme metal to ambient guitars, passing through jazz and noise, Obake is a mutating creature. Thunderous Pupillo's bass lines collide with Bernocchi's guitars glued together by Pand's grooves and Esposito Fornasari's adventurous vocals”. That’s an official information and what will we find if take a look in a core of Obake formation? This interview with Eraldo Brnocchi will show that…

    Hail Eraldo! I’m glad that we have a chance to introduce Obake to our readers and what are main facts about the band that each of listeners must know?

    We are an experimental metal band and we constantly research into new territories. It's very difficult to define what we do as we change every time we go on stage or in studio but I guess the above is probably the closest definition to our sound.

    Obake is a quartet: Massimo Pupillo (bass), Eraldo Bernocchi (guitars) and Lorenzo Esposito Fornasari (voice / keyboards) are Italian as Balazs Pandi is from Hungary. Each of you have a great musical background as each member of Obake played in a damned huge number of bands and projects, but how did you meet together and decide to start cooperative work?

    Me Massimo and Balasz get together at a festival two years ago and we really liked what was coming out so we decided to create a band. We played it another couple of festivals and then we went to Budapest to record the first album. while were recording we had this idea about adding vocals and Lorenzo which is a longtime collaborator of myself came into the picture and he sent us two tracks and those two tracks really opened and go to the new word that we really loved. He is an amazing singer and an opera singer which is very different from what you usually hear in metal. These explains why the vocals are so strange. Also the language he uses is a language he created. Massimo is no longer in the band, we replaced him with Jason Konhen aka Bong Ra. Jason is really perfect and his bass is massive plus he's a great producer so we have a fourth head helping out the band with everything.

    So what are your songs about? Now I get why I couldn’t understand a word on the album, of course, it doesn’t hinder to feel some kind of esthetic pleasure listening your song but it’s just curiosity… So may you comment some of the songs?

     This is question answered by Lorenzo: I love the peculiar ability of music to affect emotions without using a single word. Obake is basically a band made of bass, guitar, drums and voice mixed up together with the purpose to develop a specific and unique sound. Every nonsense word is just a tile as well as riffs, grooves and melodies. If you don't get a single word, if you don't really understand who's playing what...well, we're doing a good job then.

    Eraldo, why did Massimo did leave Obake? He’s really strong bass player and his manner of playing is very cunning even for underground scene, so here’s another question – how does senior Bong Ra sound? And how soon will we hear him?

    Massimo left because of personal choices and problems. This is a private matter I do not want to discuss. Jason/Bong Ra comes from a grind background and he has strong roots in doom and noise. Jason is the perfect bass player for Obake. We are currently working on the second album these days.

    Obake is extravagant combination of genres and ideas, what was in the beginning? What kind of band’s shape and sound’s conception did you keep in mind doing your first steps together? Which musical style does prevail in your palette?

    There's no planning in what we do, really. We didn't think about anything in particular, we just jammed together and choose the parts we liked most. We started as a improv power trio, that was the idea, things changed when Lorenzo came into the picture because he kind of structured things a little bit more. We still keep a good 30% of improvisation in everything we do. It's the real nature of Obake.And do you leave place for improvisations during live performances?Totally. All we do is coming from improvisation, we need to keep space for improvising.It makes live concerts much more interesting. I can't play the same thing every night, I need to invent and discover.

    As I see Obake has only one self-titled album till now, it’s a complex and unusual work so I wonder how did you came to it’s realization? How much time and energy did you put into it?

    3 days of recording sessions and a couple of months for editing and mixing. Not so much. It's a very instinctive album. I really think the best things are those that come out on the spot. Editing took a little bit more.What are your muses who did inspire you to compose that sophisticated and crude stuff?No muses, just what's live inside us. Obake music is very spontaneous.What kind of emotions do you put into your songs and what kind of emotions do you draw from playing it?It's a very difficult question as when we played and recorded them we just did it without thinking about anything. When I play them (I can only speak for me) it's really great as we change them every night. There's a good percentage of impro every time we play those songs so emotions are floating differently each time.

    Obake “Dog Star Ritual”

    You released Obake self-titled album in 2011, and I see that you have some new songs to record and when do you plan to bring on your second full-length album?

    We just finished recording the second album. This time with Jason on bass and we are really satisfied about the results. It's heavier than the first but at the very same time a lot more is happening there. We plan to release it in September 2013. We are currently working on it in the studio.

    You did a deal with RareNoiseRecords to release first full-length, do you know and do you care how do CDs sells go? And do you plan to release second record via same label?

    Yes, RareNoise is Obake label and the second album will come out for them. I still have to check figures regarding the sales but right now what is really important is that the band is fully supported by the label. Much more important than sales. If the label is supportive we can tour more and sell more. Simple.

    Eraldo, you have a photo with a dog, it’s rottweiler – what is it name? And where did you get that guy? Was “Dog Star Ritual” dedicated to him?

    That was Massimo's wife dog, Maria. The song is not dedicated to him but to Aleister Crowley. It simply happened that the dog was there when we did the photo sessions.

    What did attract your attention to Crowley? It seems that he was a guy who was busy only with self-promotion as serious writers do not consider him as a proper occultist.

    I'm not agreeing with the above. Crowley is one of my main references since 30 years, the self promotion side was just one side but the occult system he developed is one of the most powerful you can think. Its system and A.O. Spare one.

    Thank you Eraldo for this interview, I guess there were told enough to raise an interest to Obake and it’s better to listen music then just keep talking about it. What are your final words for our readers today

    As you said better listen to the music. Thanks a lot for your support!

    Interview By Aleks

    Official Website

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    There are those moments in any music fan's listening life when you press play on an album only to realize a few seconds into the disc that you already know you are listening to something special. This new album from Victor Griffin's In-Graved  has those instant gratifying qualities. Griffin is of course a legend within the doom, stoner metal scenes and is probably the most well-known musician within the genre after Wino but this self-titled release has more than one famous name attached to it.

    Victor has a mini 'who is who' group of guest musicians featured on the album including Jeff “Oly” Olson (Trouble) on Hammond organ, drummer Pete Campbell (60 Watt Shaman, Place of Skulls), bassists Guy Pinhas (The Obsessed, Acid King, Goatsnake), Ron Holzner (Trouble, Earthen Grave, Debris Inc), Greg Turley (Pentagram), Marty Swaney (Death Row, Pentagram), and Dan Lively (Sweet Cicada) but wait that is not even the complete list.

    Guest players aside however and you would know an album is only as good as its songs but thankfully these eight tracks are near flawless examples of great songwriting and musicianship. It is already being called the best "Griffin" release possibly ever which is a big call considering Griffin's history but one spin of this album and you can hear that the kudos are justified. There is the temptation to compare this with the likes of Pentagram and Place of Skulls which is what I thought I would end up doing for this review but I was very relived to find out that this album stands out totally on its own. However there are no real surprises here unless the cover of Jethro Tull's 'Teacher' throws you a curveball. Personally it had no such effect on me as the Tull classic is perfect fodder for Griffin's patented guitar sound and approach. The buzzy sound of Griffin's is still alive and sounding better than ever on this release and his songwriting approach is as infectious as ever.

    'Thorn In The Flesh' is one of the albums killer tracks, this one with great guitar and Hammond organ interplay. 'Late For An Early Grave' which is a left-over track from 2006 is perhaps the most infectious Griffin penned tune ever while 'Digital Critic' which opens the album has a dig at people like yours truly if I am hearing it right and it is more than justified I must say. Elsewhere on the album there is no filler to be heard with the Jethro Tull cover being the other stand-out favorite of mine. It must also be mentioned how great Victor's vocals sound on this album. His voice has always played an underrated role in the music of Griffin's and on this album, his voice is at its peak of excellence. There are two words that spring to mind - "taste" and "hooks" and this album is dripping with both of those elements. It has been said that this album marks a new era for Victor Griffin and if that is so then this is a perfect start to that phase of his career and life. Needless to say if you are a fan of Death Row, Pentagram and Place of Skulls this album will more than satisfy, it is right up there with the very best albums that Griffin has ever been a part of and will be an essential purchase for 2013....9.5/10.


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    There must be many gates to Hell spread around the world, but be sure, one of them is definitely located behind a monumental tomb in some decadent-looking, old Italian cemetery where the sweetish stink of flowers rotting in the heat will mix with the scent of incense and the squeaks of ancient gates will unexplicably cause chilly shivering along your spine even under the daylight … Italian horror doom masters Abysmal Grief are back with a new album, carrying an Italian title, Feretri, a formal way for addressing to coffins adorned with a ceremonial, funereal blanket. The solemnity or the formality of the title immediately clashes with the cover art, which is definitely hinting straight to a morbid story of a vintage B-series noir or horror movie, the kind of atmospheres that founder and guitar-player Regen Graves and his band mates dig very much. And their fans worldwide as well!

    A day full of cheesy celebrations of love like Valentine’s Day was the ideal framework for the fake mourning of the two charming ladies in black in the cover art of Feretri, out on February 14th 2013. Since their start back in 1995 Abysmal Grief have been a, let’s say, tormented band with frequent changes in the line-up sometimes accounted for as to “mysterious reasons” in the duly gloomy official biography. However the band was able to keep their distinctive sound and style faithfully, a style devoted to a gothic-flavoured, grotesque evocation of occult and morbid atmospheres, necromantic rituals, funereal cults, via a winning, unique blend of vintage-sounding Hammond organ-driven heavy, horror prog and way sinister heavy doom (-gothic?) metal.  It is not easy to pinpoint Abysmal Grief’s style, and if a gothic component occurs, be sure we are not dealing with any honey-dripping surrogate of horror, as Abysmal Grief are creepy, nasty, misanthropic, evocative and insanely attractive like an old horror movie. In their albums this band is able to evoke the eerie, dark and blasphemous ambiance they masterfully set up during their awesome, occult-looking horror-drenched live exhibitions. I had the luck of seeing three shows by Abysmal Grief in the last three years, so believe me …

    Album Feretri is Abysmal Grief’s third full-length album and comes after almost four years from the latest, monster album Misfortune and a further change in the line-up. However during these years the band has been able to keep the wide and faithful fan base quiet by feeding them with two slabs of blasphemic tunes during 2011 and late 2012, i.e. the substantial Foetor Funereus Mortuorum vinyl-only EP and the Celebrate What They Fear 7" EP, respectively. But Abysmal Grief’s fans are as ravenous as the vampires on the band’s logo or the non-dead, or semi-dead that fit the band’s fave old cemeteries so well. A full album was needed. And there it is!  Feretri includes 6 tracks for a 45 minute-long creepy trip, a “Night on the Bald Mountain”-like experience drenched with occult and mystical atmospheres and devoted to worshiping an ancestral and infernal cult of Death via the band’s unique macabre, necromantic doom.  Tracks seem to be organized according to a sort of narrative scheme where long, creepy funereal litanies alternate with  frenzied, sacrilegious Sabbah dances and pictorial, highly atmospheric, nocturnal intervals. These scenes or moods may vary across tracks as well as within single tracks, as the band employed frequent tempo changes. Each track is an adventure and all the tracks are like an infernal saga.

    Funereal bells and ghostly whispers will immediately drag you into action, in the graveyard, at the onset of the opening track, “Lords of the Funeral”. However the real call of the grim keepers of this Gate to Hell is the combined burst of raw, downtuned guitars and vibrating bass, the echoing baroque sounds of the keyboards, the ritual booming drums and the solemn, evil, roaring, grim theatrical vocals by keyboard player Labes C. Necrothytus.   “Hidden in the Graveyard” is a night-time adventure in the graveyard lead by an overpowering, crushingly heavy, uptempo, horror doom rhythm that will make you headbang in time with the nasty creatures of the netherworld exhaling from the crevasses of tombstones and crypts. The beating rhythm in the dark suite “Sinister Gleams” possesses the hypnotic power of macabre folk ballads and ancestral propitiate dances. The short, instrumental track "Crepusculum” is an amazing atmospheric interlude where the sounds of an otherwise normal summer night in the countryside (crickets, nocturnal birds) are turned to sinister expectation, if not sheer horror, via some simple and somber notes on those amazing keyboards. What will follow, “The Gaze of the Owl”, is a breathtaking burst of pure creepy doom where Abysmal Grief mix with Electric Wizard and Cathedral or Reverend Bizarre, and where scary invocations by sick, layered ghoul-like vocals alternate with the howls of the guitars. The nightmarish adventure in the baroque graveyard is closed by the painfully slow and deadly malignant melody of the final doom suite “Her Scythe”, where sabbathian riffs and keyboard sounds are progressively drenched by melancholy before dying out into silence.

    Abysmal Grief’s Feretri is out as CD via the Italian label Terror From Hell Records since February 14th 2013. Those of you who need the complementary ghostly background creaking from the vinyl platter added to the blasphemous rituals will have to wait for the LP version, that will be out via Horror Records, the Danish label that released some of the previous works by this Italian band. Album Feretri in particular, and Abysmal Grief in general, are a must for those who are attracted by vintage horror movies, and by creepy doom in the vein of Electric Wizard, early Black Sabbath, Reverend Bizarre, etc., past and present Italian occult prog and horror metal, like Goblin, Malombra, Jacula, Paul Chain, Death SS, Cultus Sanguine, and the suffocating, occult, blasphemous and morbid ambiance as in Mortuary Drape.

    Feretri sounds great for sounds and production. I am not able to say if this is the best album sofar by Abysmal Grief. I am addicted to their music like dope and this is the dose I was craving for.
    If you too are in the army of the Abysmal Grief dope addicts, it’s time for quenching your thirst …

    Words: Marilena Moroni

    Abysmal Grief | Official Website
    Abysmal Grief | Facebook
    Terror From Hell Releases
    Horror Records

    There is no official video for Feretri sofar so enjoy some older Abysmal Grief  in Crypt of Horror (official video)

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    I’m glad to introduce you a really budding stoner metal band from Chile – Kayros! They were somewhere near since 2006, and they first work “Pozo Negro” was released in 2009. But if that album did skip past your ears, you have a greater chance to get acquainted with the band picking up their second full length “Tierras Infertiles”. It consists of two CDs and it’s still fresh and hot – Kayros did produce it by their own hands in late autumn of 2012. So let’s talk about it!

    Salute comrade! I would like to ask you help me to introduce the band for our readers, so it would be good if you talk some facts about Kayros which is necessary to know before ears of our readers will be prepared to heed your tunes.

    We started to play as Kayros back then in 2005 and the difficulties were basically the same for every band that starts from "point zero". Whatever the style it is. It means doing gigs, access the media to promote you music, have a good backline, etc. It is also true that underground music is not an easy way to go, more, when you are consequent with what you preach. But when we achieve our goals it means a lot to me and us as a band.

    How often do you play gigs and how many people do usually visit your shows?

    In Chile we play a lot. Maybe 40 or 50 gigs per year. Couple of times we went on tour to Argentina, 2010-2011. Basically we move in an underground circuit of bars and universities and some independent rock festivals. The number of people going to our shows is relative. Sometimes we play in front of 100 people. Other times in front of 700. But we know, also, what it means to play in front of 20 people, haha!! It depends a lot on the date of the shows, the city... depends on many factors. After a lot of years playing together we got many friends that follow us and go to our shows which is very important to us because the energy that flows in every live show is what, at the end of the day, keeps the flame alive.

     How did you work over stuff for your first CD “Pozo Negra” and what was your vision for this record? How did you see it and how does it differ from that you want to do?

    “Pozo Negro” was our first album. We recorded it, 2008, in AUDIOMACHINE RECORDS, in Santiago, Chile. With almost no cost. Because the owner of the record studio, back then he was just starting the business, and he saw us play in Concepción (our city) and he liked our music a lot and he offered his studio for free to record our material. Recording it was easy although we did not have much experience working in a studio. We did the job basically in one night with very few takes per song. Then we let the mastering and mixing in the hands of Bruno Rudolph. He's really a master!!

    “Pozo Negra” has an amazing art-work, where did you find it and what is it’s story?

    The art is from a friend of ours. "Gama". He is tattooist and also makes paintings with the "pointillism" technique. One night of booze and grass at his place he showed us his art and that image impressed us a lot. Immediately we knew that this should be the album cover, and that’s the way it was. That night he gave us that paintwork and we use it as the album cover. It was a wonderful moment.

    Sex, drugs and rock’n’roll seem to be necessary attributes of rock, heavy and metal music; though there could be some variants – hellfire for example. What are you priorities amidst such everlasting rock values? What is your personal choice of main rock or stoner symbols?

    Not at all... I mean... we really hate these rock and roll "clichés" and the classical figure of a rockstar like Eddie Van Halen hahaha!!! We are just normal people like anybody else and we are lucky to play in a band and to have the capacity to make songs... but that doesn’t make us like different that the other guys that go to our shows and listen to our music. Just like anybody else we get drunk and sometimes we drink a lot hahaha !!! We smoke grass... we listen to a lot of rock and roll all the time basically psychedelic and acid rock, particularly the most underground bands of the 70's of which we are constantly in search of...In South America there was and is a lot of great bands and I take this opportunity to recommend to you PESCADO RABIOSO, LOS JAIVAS, COLOR HUMANO, PAPPO'S BLUES, INVISIBLE, etc...We also listen to a lot of 90's rock and roll bands like SKINYARD, SOUNDGARDEN, SLEEP, MUDHONEY just to name a few....and about the classic symbols of stoner I guess they are right...they give some personality to the genre and some sort of visual identity. But we were never so much into it....

    Kayros “Tierras Infertiles”

     Your second album “Tierras Infertiles” was released in 21st of October, and I see that you released it by your own hands. Was it expensive deal? I’m asking because your songs have a pretty good sounding and I wonder how much time and money you spent into studio.

    Yeah we released it on October the 20th. It was a symbolic date for us because CHOCLO our guitarist died on September-2012 in a tragic accident, being the album finished, and as a tribute we wanted to get the album out exactly that day, Choclo's 30th birthday, and play it live in total length! And it was an amazing gig! Sold out! And we knew that Choclo was on stage with us all the time. This whole situation made us to speed up the editing of the album because we wanted to have, without question, the album out that day. We had some conversations with some local labels but we decided to release it independently that day. We made 500 double cds copies which have been sold very well and we are thinking in another edition this time on vinyl... hope so... The point is that in South America we don’t have machines to press, so it makes it a little bit difficult. Anyway, if somebody in Europe is interested...well...just contact us! The recording costs were not high. We recorded it at the same studio we did POZO NEGRO. AUDIOMACHINE STUDIOS. Today is one of the best studios in Chile with great equipment. The owner, Juan Carlos, is a very good friend that’s why working there was very cheap. Just like POZO NEGRO we recorded it live in 2 days but the mixing time was very long and exhausting. We spent many months in this process until we were 100% sure with the way it sounds.

    Man, are you meaning that “Tierras Infertiles” totally sold-out? How did it happen?

    No, not totally exhausted, but we have very few copies of the album, we get only 500 copies independently and had pretty high expectations for the people, as we drive enough time working on the album. Also it was the first double album that was published in the underground in Chile, certainly our guitarist's death "corn" also helped generate more expectations on the album. Choclo that was very dear to the people and within the Chilean underground, this was his posthumous work, bone Imagine L.A. woman of the doors or pearl of  Janis Joplin, when a member of a group dies days before launching the album certainly also generates more interest in the work, all this helped to sell very fast.

     Some of your songs sound really psychedelic, some of them sound ominous and even aggressive, and what kind of feelings did you put into this work?

    Just imagine 4 guys in a little recording room in the south Chile's with a lot of anger to throw out and with the feeling of being alone facing the world with our music. We put all our energy and fury on the creation of this album. You never know if it maybe the last...Our lyrics are very dark in a way and they talk about State terrorism, fucking social reality, the extermination of minorities and in a personal way how difficult it is to live in a world that is falling into ruins in front of your eyes... The rhythm changes were something that we always enjoy to do... that changing climax-some very aggressive parts to other more ethereal - is something that we work a lot and the core of it is undoubtedly improvisation. It’s our trademark.

    The album consists of two CDs, how did it happened that you have 15 tracks for one release?

    Since we released “POZO NEGRO” in 2008 we never stop writing songs so when we entered the studio to record “TIERRAS INFÉRTILES” we had a lot of songs that we really liked and we wanted to record them all. And unconsciously we realized, during the composition time, that it was some sort of conceptual connection within the lyrics just perfect for a double album which we decided to record independently with our own resources because the labels said to us that that would be a commercial suicide. But we didn't care. Our spirit is always tightly bound to the underground and independent spirit so we said "fuck you all we don't need you to do our thing". So that was pretty much it. We made it our way. We record an album completely independently and we are very proud of it.

    I would like to ask you comment some of your favorite tracks from the album – their lyrical and musical conception if you wish.

    My favorite songs from the album are “OBITUARIO”, “TIERRAS INFÉRTILES” and “LENTO PASAR”. I think they represent quite well the darkness of our music and also those rhythm changes and climax within the songs. We got some really heavy riffs within a lot of psychedelic. I like “DAMA VIOLENTA” a lot too. Choclo wrote the lyrics for this song. It is very personal. It is about a relationship he had with this girl... very tormented and violent... I love that song... musically begins very dynamic and it is very dark at the end.

    You live in Concepcion, true to say I did interviews with few bands from Chile but none of them was from your city, can you tell us about it?

    Concepción is located in Chile's central-south... and it is true... most of the time the media is interested in what, musically, is generated in Santiago. But Concepción is an important rock and roll epicenter in Chile. Is a university city and that constantly generates an explosion of new bands and a lot of people willing to listen to rock and roll. And I think that Concepción presents a phenomenon not found elsewhere which a very self-sustaining circuit is where you can play constantly for many people in the same city. And that reinforces the myth that Concepción is the capital of Chilean rock and roll.

    So, do you feel yourself popular in Chile? And what kind of responses did you already get from abroad?

    No, do not think we're popular in terms of being a group of TV programs and we’re not played on the radio mass, as we move rather in the underground and that is the area where we feel more comfortable. If after years of playing much we have many people who follow us at shows and listen to our music and show us a lot of love, especially in the south of Chile and also this is the audience that we want to. That’s people will listen music which they really like - rock and roll beyond the fashions of the moment.

     What are your plans for 2013?

    The first thing is to try to play as much as we live and present the album "wastelands" in as many cities in Chile and abroad. We have plans to visit on tour Peru and Argentina this year, try hard to sound again as solid as we did with Corn, and finally two days before died Choclo, we recorded six new songs. That will work and will publish this year or next with new material that we're composing, the idea is that despite the blow we received with the Choclo death we have to keep moving, for us music is everything.

    Thank you for this interview comrade! I wish you all the best – good luck!
    Just please add few more words for our readers mate.

    Aleks thank you, greetings to all who filled this page, and give yourself some time and listen to some heavy sudamericano the move now. I recommend bands like Yajaira, Knei, Orate, Demonauta, Tlon, Reino Ermitaño and many more, there is much swampy rock in these parts of the world, cheers.

    Interview By Aleks


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    This well-known band from Portland brings to us a true witching doom metal indeed! It’s hard to believe but Witch Mountain was created in far 1997 and it existed as power trio till appearance of Uta Plotkin in 2007. And of course it has sense! If you sing about witches, it’s better to have one in the band! So there was enough of interesting news from Witch Mountain since that time – a lot of good gigs, two more full-length albums (“South of Salem” and “Cauldron of the Wild”) which everyone of you already know. But we could miss something here… And there’re always a lot of reasons to make an interview with such bands as Witch Mountain is, that’s why Uta Plotkin is here with us tonight.

    Hi Uta! We were speaking not so long ago and I remember the latest news from Witch Mountain is your participation in the forthcoming Wacken Open Air festival in April. Do you already have a tour schedule? I think that rare band is ready cross Atlantic Ocean because of one show.

    Yes we're touring for a few weeks, first with Cough, from Richmond, VA and then with Wounded Kings from the UK.  I don't have the itinerary yet but I know we will fly into Poland and play a show in Warsaw on March 8th.  Other places we're going are Finland, Germany, Belgium, France, Prague, England and a few others I don't know yet!  We are booked for two Desert Rock Fests in Berlin and London.  I've only been to Germany and Prague before.  That trip was to go to Wacken Open Air.

    Did Witch Mountain have such huge tour before?

    We've done one longer tour for 5 and a half weeks around the US and Canada.  I'm looking forward to Europe because of the shorter distances and I've heard musicians are treated well over there - better than in the US!

    Witch Mountain already has a good reputation and rare one didn’t hear one of your albums, but you’ve produced vinyl edition of your last full-length “Cauldron of the Wild” by your self. What was a reason for this costly affair?

    Vinyl is making a huge comeback.  Even I have started collecting it because I love the physicality and the large images.  It really makes the music seem more special and artistic.  Plus the crackle when it plays is delicious.  There is something ritualistic about placing that huge disc on an altar and setting it spinning.  Subsequently you must pay attention akin to a meditation because soon you'll need to switch sides.  As you can tell, I'm smitten with vinyl.

     Yes, I see, but did CD-edition already pay off? Everyone knows that touring is great chance to spread a word and that vinyl is excellent format, that well-recorded and well-mixed stuff sounds better than stuff which was recorded in a bathroom, but it’s obvious that even labels can’t solve all problems of artists.

    Our label, Profound Lore, paid for our recording and the first pressing of CDs so we didn't have to worry about that.  The vinyl was paid for by pre-orders from our fans.  Thank you fans!!  We're right at a level now where we can get by on pre-orders and some small loans from friends that we pay back quickly.  Nate Carson, our drummer, booker and manager has been very smart about building our business organically and smoothly.

    Uta, I’ve read lyrics of “Cauldron of the Wild” listening the album and I have to admit that your texts are very carefully considered, so I guess that it’s not just empty words for you. You have a strong voice and most of heavy bands consider vocal as another instrument, therefore lyrics with meaning became a rare thing now. Why is it so important for you?

    Thank you for your appreciation of the time I take with my lyrics though it is hard for me to believe that all lyricists don't write with careful consideration.  Writing lyrics is one of my favorite parts of the process.  It is cathartic and focused; it calms me down and engages me in a pleasing way.  And there are so many options.  I enjoy simple, colloquial forms; epic, story-telling forms; cryptic, magical forms; rhyming, not rhyming, structures and chaos.  With songwriting I get to try all these things.  Lyrical content for me is often tied to either direct experience, highly intellectual or spiritual concepts, or merely a passing fascination with a subject or imagery.  I try not to limit myself too much but that's the advantage of having two bands.  I can stay focused but still have multiple outlets for all my interests. Good lyrics to me make a song listenable over and over, as there is always something new to discover.

    Hah, I think that guys like me ask such question very often to you, but anyway – how do you keep your voice in such a good form? Do you have some kind of diet or maybe special exercises for it?

    I warm up before every show using vocal warm ups from the DVD The Zen of Screaming.  I make sure not to talk too loudly or from the throat before and after shows.  Talking is just as hard on your voice in a loud environment.  Try to pitch your voice up into your nasal cavity.  That will resonate naturally, not requiring you to push from the throat and therefore potentially damage your vocal chords.  If your voice is starting to disappear, don't talk and especially DONT WHISPER.  Enforce VOCAL REST for a full day.

    Okay, and what kind of questions do people ask you usually besides previous one?

    People are always asking me what I keep in my belt but that's a secret.

    If I get it right, you’re an author of Witch Mountain albums design, and everyone here would agree that this work is perfect. How often do you engage such work and can we see it’s examples on the records of other bands?

    I have nothing to do with the artwork for Witch Mountain.  Illustrations are by Skinner (South of Salem) and Sam Ford (Cauldron of the Wild) with Jason Lewis doing color for both.  I do some artwork for Aranya, mostly hand carved stamps.

    Oh, well, Skinner and Sam have done great work anyway :-) Uta, Witch Mountain also released a self-titled Ep in October 2012, and as many of our readers already know about “Cauldron of the Wild” may I ask you to share your opinion about this record?

    That release is a single.  “Bloodhound” will be on the next album and “A Power Greater” is the B-side.  “Bloodhound” we wrote and recorded in two weeks.  It's about how fucked up police power is.  I love the song and I think it bodes well for our next album.  “A Power Greater” is the oldest Witch Mountain song written.  I like the energy and the connection to WM's past.

    You’re saying that there’s a police lawlessness is spread in a Land of the Free, aren’t you? Did you ever feel it onto yourself?

    Power has a side effect of corruption and that's universal.  The problem is not necessarily lawlessness though.  The laws the police follow are just as corrupted.  The only cop I've personally struggled with though, is the one in my head, just like all of us.

    There’re a lot of great doom bands in your region, with which ones do you usually share the stage? May you tell us about some special events which you experience with the band for last few months?

    We just had a great LP release show where we played with Diesto (Portland) and Solid Giant and Red Shield (New Orleans).  I highly recommend all three.  We also play with Yob, Norska, Eight Bells, Atriarch, Lord Dying.  There are too many great bands right now!  We've been taking it easy though, preparing for our big European tour in April.

    Yes, got  you – I’ll check the bands which you’ve mentioned above. Do you have some special expectations about European tour? I’m meaning… are there some bands which you really would like to see?

    I'm excited to all the bands that we're touring and playing with.  Other than that I'm not sure I'll get to see any other bands. 

    You’re from Oregon, and as I guess – it’s mountains did help guys to choose band’s name in 1997, how else does this wild land influence upon you? How much of it’s spirit is in your songs?

    It seems most people are influenced by their surroundings and the Pacific Northwest has the most epic surroundings - huge mossy trees, snowy mountains, dripping wet everything, vast ocean, tangled undergrowth, suffocating clouds.  People here feel the slow crushing movement of water.  They feel the need to struggle out from under this tremendous weight and clutch at the truly important aspects of life that make continuing to live rewarding.

    The band is pretty old and guys did record first album “Come the Mountain” without you, how did you get into the band?

    I started working with Nate at his booking agency, Nanotear, in order to learn how to book my band, Aranya, better.  When Witch Mountain asked me to sing (Nate is the drummer), I saw an opportunity I couldn't pass up.

    What do you like the most being part of active metal band? Did you ever dream of such life?

    I've had a long-time dream of being a touring/recording musician.  It was only about 5 or 6 years ago that I realized I wanted it to be in Metal.  I absolutely love rolling into a city I've never been to before, stalking into a venue and spewing intensity and power in every direction.  It's satisfying on a deep level.

    Uta, I know that you also sing in Aranya band, what is this band about? What kind of feelings do you channel through it’s songs? And why can’t you do it with Witch Mountain?

    I started Aranya in 2008 as a way to keep from going crazy; as a way to fulfill my self-inflicted purpose.  All the psychic swirling tempest inside me is released through Aranya.  It's animal and primal and has a fuck-all attitude.  Witch Mountain is someone else's vision.  Aranya is mine.  That is the primary difference.  You can listen at and look at

    Then I must check Aranya too, and let our readers follow my example. Thank you for your patience Uta, our interview is pretty informative and interesting as I think :-). Good luck!

    Interview By Aleks

    Aranya | Bandcamp

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    German psychedelic hard rockers KADAVAR will release their second full-length album, "Abra Kadavar", on April 12 via Nuclear Blast Records. The photo for the cover artwork, which was taken by photographer and ex-STEREOLAB drummer Joe Dilworth, can be seen below.

    Comments KADAVAR frontman Lupus Lindemann: "Joe had already worked with us for our debut album. He's one of the best photographers I know and always understood our ideas, which is why we wanted to cooperate with him again. He proudly brought an old camera from the '60s and a color film that had been expired for ten years to the shooting — hard to get and highly coveted, because it causes unpredictable deviants as far as color and contrast are concerned. As one can see: We’ve used this very film!"

    "Abra Kadavar" will be available as a limited digi version, including a bonus track as well on different vinyl versions.

    The track listing for the CD is as follows:

    01. Come Back Life
    02. Doomsday Machine
    03. Eye Of The Storm
    04. Black Snake
    05. Dust
    06. Fire
    07. Liquid Dream
    08. Rhythm For Endless Minds
    09. Abra Kadabra

    Bonus track:

    10. The Man I Shot

    As far as the album recordings are concerned, KADAVAR drummer Tiger explains: "After last year's final show had been played in mid-December, we started writing new songs. We've already had a couple of finished tracks in May 2012, but those were eventually released on a split LP with AQUA NEBULA OSCILLATOR in November 2012, which is why we started at square one again. As we knew that there was no procrastination and no going back for us, we sat down for two weeks straight to finish composing with total commitment. We're perfectly happy with the outcome — I'd even say that 'Abra Kadavar' comprises the best compositions we've created to date. The songs are more diversified, the ideas feel more spontaneous. Moreover, we've tried to capture much more of our live energy, which is why we've recorded almost everything all together in one room, with the amps turned up to the max — solely the vocals and a handful of guitar solos were added afterwards."

    It was already with 2012's eponymous debut album that the three-piece from Berlin casted a spell on all fans of solid riff-driven-yet-doom-like '70s hard rock à la BLACK SABBATH and PENTAGRAM. Marrying this with the spacy psychedelic approach of early HAWKWIND and mixing in a distinct own touch while preserving their icons' warm vintage charm can doubtlessly be considered the trio's key to success. Astoundingly high vinyl sales and support slots with such bands as SLEEP, SAINT VITUS, PENTAGRAM and ELECTRIC WIZARD as well as festival appearances at Stoned From The Underground, Yellowstock and Fusion, among others, underline KADAVAR's status as one of the scene's most exciting acts to watch in 2013.

    KADAVAR is:

    Lupus Lindemann - vocals, guitar
    Mammut - bass
    Tiger - drums

    Source: Blabbermouth

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    - For immediate release! -

    Alunah are proud to be working with Sound Of Liberation, the well respected booking agency will be handling all future European dates for Alunah, starting with dates in March, April and May. These dates mark Alunah's first gigs outside of the United Kingdom. Sound Of Liberation are the booking agency behind such events as DesertFest Berlin, Up in Smoke, Brainbanger's Ball and Santa Psychedelia. Artists who Alunah will be joining on the roster include Ahab, The Atomic Bitchwax, Belzebong, Black Pyramid, Colour Haze, Fatso Jetson, Truckfighters and Ufomammut amongst many others.

    European Alunah Dates:

    Sound Of Liberation proudly presents the following Alunah dates. Please forward any European booking enquiries regarding Alunah to or visit their website at Sound Of Liberation.Com. Booking enquiries within the UK should still be forwarded to

    31/03: Alunah, The Skeletons, Cultura Tres @ Les Combustibles, Paris
    27/04: DesertFest Berlin @ Astra Kulturhaus - Berlin, Germany
    28/04: Date TBC - email for booking requests
    29/04: Belzebong, Alunah @ Römer - Bremen, Germany
    30/04: Ufomammut, Belzebong, Alunah + 1 TBC @ Club Puschkin - Dresden, Germany
    01/05: Date TBC - email for booking requests
    02/05: Date TBC - email for booking requests
    03/05: Heavy Days in Doom Town Festival @ Ungdomshuset - Copenhagen, Denmark

    Alunah will also be supporting St. Vitus in Birmingham at The O2 Academy on 13th March, reduced £10 tickets are available from Alunah's Bandcamp!

    Official Website

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    There is a lot to like about German doomsters Lex Rhino such as cool artwork and promo images that always seem to feature hot women (always a plus in my book). They also have some nice riffage and an authentic feel for classic doomy 70's rock sounds. The band's style sits somewhere in-between Black Sabbath's mid 70's era and bands like Cathedral and Pod People who also sound remarkably like Cathedral at times but that is for another post.

    This EP with the great title of 'Filthy Porn & Psycho For the Decadent' that gave me an excuse to look at porn while looking for album art (which I never found by the way) has some classic doomy passages but it also has some questionable elements which I just can't get past for now.

    The opening track 'Venus Vampyre Witches' is the most obvious example of this with haphazard tempo changes which sound almost intentionally bad - not bad as in unlistenable but put it this way, it sounds messy and kind of un-rehearsed. The riffs too seem just thrown together like they are playing simply the very first thing that came to their heads without any fine-tuning whatsoever. However this is the only track that seemingly goes off the rails as soon as it starts. The other three tracks are all winners with predictable but nice and tasty riffing and a magnetic atmosphere which sucks you in pretty damn quickly. This is another retro-doom band and a very predictable one at that but they are still better than most other 70's wannabees.

    The band has a warm, relaxed doomy vibe that is instantly infectious to the ears that makes it clear as to why there is still a large market for this retro style of heavy music. Tracks like 'Sisters of Doom' is the kind of retro-heavy that can't help but put a smile on the face of the average hippie doomster. The track has classic Iommi-ish riff work, atmospheric organ and enough off-the-wall elements to keep it interesting. The same can be said for the closing tune 'Materialized' which has some unique guitar leads. The only real weakness to the band is vocally which is not bad at all but at the same time is kind of rough around the edges. Some of the blame for this can be put on the German accent which sounds a bit out-of-place at times but his delivery at times also seems a tad lazy. These are small gripes but very noticeable ones just the same. If you are a newbie to Lex Rhino I would recommend avoiding this EP for now and buying the 'With a Little Help from Lucifer' release which is a short but wonderful 6 track album. They also have a split with the soon to be split Dopefight which is also a much better option than buying this thing. One for the fans............7/10.

    Lex Rhino | MySpace

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    Thanks to everyone who has downloaded the compilation so far. It has really helped in putting a good sized dent in our current debt situation but we still fell short on funds on solving the homeless problem for Ed. Please don't give up on us now, we have a terrible three to six months ahead of us and we need as much help as we can get. Ed wants to get back to doing what he does best (writing reviews) but it can't happen without a home-base to work from. Buy the compilation or make a donation or better still, do both...Sally B

    The first ever Doommantia.Com Compilation is now available for download for only $7 from BANDCAMP. Immediate download of no less than 39 tracks of doomy goodness, over 4 hours long. Bands featured are Blackwolfgoat, At Devil Dirt, Low Gravity, Ichabod, Fister, Undersmile, Compel, Iron Man, Wizard's Beard, Oceans Rainbow, Beelzefuzz, Conan, Lazarus Complex, Spyderbone, Order Of The Owl, Dope Flood, War Injun, Heathen Bastard, Halmos, Kriz, Bongripper, Demonaut, In The Company Of Serpents, Switchblade Jesus, Pale Divine, When The Deadbolt Breaks, Bastards Of The Skies, Gorgantherron, Screaming Mad Dee and Alex Vanderzeeuw, Chowder, War Iron, Hollow Leg, Crawl, Desolation, Ketea, Sludgethrone, Vulture, Wolfpussy and The Departure. That is some bang for your buck!!!

    All proceeds go to the Ed Barnard homeless fund so it is a very worthy cause. Thanks to all the bands involved and to Tim Davis who worked so hard putting all of this together. Head to BANDCAMP now to get your download.

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    British doom legends CATHEDRAL will release their final studio album, "The Last Spire", on April 29 via Rise Above Records. Produced by Lee Dorrian and Garry Jennings, with assistance from Jaime Gomez Arellano, the CD will feature the following track listing:

    01. Entrance To Hell
    02. Pallbearer
    03. Cathedral Of The Damned
    04. Tower Of Silence
    05. Infestation Of Grey Death
    06. An Observation
    07. The Last Laugh
    08. This Body, Thy Tomb

    And lo, Lee Dorrian, mouthpiece of CATHEDRAL for 23 years, doth solemnly intone the death rites of this mighty British metal Titan. Born in the dying days of Thatcher's Britain, bonding over then-unfashionable, obscure names like SAINT VITUS, PENTAGRAM, TROUBLE and DREAM DEATH, CATHEDRAL's sole ambition was to record a demo tape. In fact they revolutionised doom metal, first pushing their influences into new avenues of grinding extremity, then pioneering groovier forms of '70s-indebted stoner doom.

    They've remained a reassuring and singular presence in our lives, building a rabid following worldwide with their wholly distinctive blend of rollicking British heavy metal, true doom, 70s hard rock, psych-folk, mad prog and spiky crust-punk. There was a worrying hiatus between 2005 and 2010 when some dared to wonder if CATHEDRAL were coming back at all — but they re-emerged with "The Guessing Game", an overflowing treasure chest of weird and wonderful goodies exploring new, bold variations on their craft. So when news came that CATHEDRAL really were approaching the Endtyme, it was a shock.

    "Personally speaking, this is the album I've been waiting to do since the first one [CATHEDRAL's 1991 debut, 'Forest Of Equilibrium']," says Dorrian. "It almost feels like we made our second album last in some respects. We actually recorded a lot more material but decided to sacrifice many of the tracks to make the overall album feel more complete in its nihilism.

    "I don't like happy endings, I never have. So many good films are ruined by happy endings and I didn't want that to be the case with CATHEDRAL. It was my dream to bring everything full circle."

    CATHEDRAL recently released its first new recorded material in three years exclusively via Decibel magazine's subscriber-only Decibel Flexi Series. The song, "Vengeance Of The Blind Dead", can be heard in the flexi included in the February 2013 issue. The track is also streaming on Decibel's SoundCloud page. Limited quantities of the issue with the flexi can be ordered on

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    Mario “The Black” Di Donato is a true legend of Italian rock / metal scene, he’s is not as well-known as Pope of Vatican but I’m sure that couldn’t last forever. A natural born man of art, musician and artist, Mario has a great experience of playing in different bands since 1967 but his main creation for last 25 years is The Black. This band sounds unique way combining elements of heavy and doom metal with touches of firm Italian progressive metal. Let me share with you latest news from The Black in this brief yet interesting interview with Mario himself.

    Hail Mario! Let us start with questions of current state of the band, Black Widow Records released your last full-length “Gorgoni” in 2010, so do you have something new after these 2 years?

    Hi Aleks thanks first of all for your support and interest to the Italian scene and to my THE BLACK. After these 2 years it already came out the reprint of the album Refugium Peccatorum never out on CD support, with 3 bonus track OBSCURA NOCTE, LUX VERITAS EST and a St. Vitus cover HOLLOW'S VICTIM, meanwhile in 2 years we done a lot of live show and worked on a new material, now I have two works ready to be recorded we'll see which one will come out first or why not together, one it's about human phobias and will be called METUS OSTILIS and the other one totally different its inspired by the DECAMERON wrote by Boccaccio. And in the 2013 we will do something special because THE BLACK will celebrate the 25th band's anniversary!

    The Black took part in annual Malta Doom Festival in 2012, what were your impressions after playing this show? How often do you take part in such festivals and what do you like the most in such huge gigs?

    Well the MALTA DOOM METAL was special and exciting because of the kindness and the warm welcome of the manager ALBERT BELL a great fan of THE BLACK and than discovered as a great musician as all from Albert's band FORSAKEN, and a great friend too. So in Malta we lived a great magic atmosphere and last but not least from the people and fan that supported us so much. So the things that I like the most are the friendship that you breathe the truly respect and to show you some examples I can say about the Heavy Metal Night  in Italy, the Stoned Hand Of Doom in Rome and the Italian Agglutination where we played through the years and where we went even as guests when were not in the bill, are amazing situations, so friendly and true to deal with, that shows you the most important side of this music.

    The Black started a contest in 20 of November with such relics for winners as t-shirts and CDs signed by band. How often do you conduct such actions?

    Well we don't do this often, but I think it's a good idea to say thanks to our fans, it was an Idea of our manager Gianni Romanelli, so there is not a lot to say about it, it's nice and we will do it again in the future.

    Mario, you’ve started collaboration with another doom band Sancta Sanctorum two years ago. Are you busy with that band still? And what did drive you to take part in this project of Death SS?

    Yes I've done this thing because I have a great respect for Steve Sylvester and Tomas Hand Chaste and last but not least because I liked that project. It was only a collaboration for that album, like some artists do but I’m not in that band as a permanent member, just a guest.

    It seems that one of most famous features of Italian doom bands is hostility to Christianity, but as I’ve found it in interview with Mirdryasi, it’s normal to the country where religion plays such huge and sometimes terrible role for centuries. Lyrics of The Black is on Latin yet even your art-works get straight hints that band’s conception changes through the years and after 20 years of opposing religion you take a look at Roman mythology releasing album “Gorgoni”. How did the band’s lyrical conception develop through years and that did influence onto these changes?

    Gorgons (Medusa, Euryale and Steno) are first of all the monsters of Greek mythology and  NOT Roman's! Sorry if I'm correcting you on this. Jupiter turned them from beautiful to ugly with snakes instead of hair. I dedicated this work to Greek mythology because in my childhood I was influenced and affected by the snake-haired women.

     Can you remember main milestones of The Black? I’m asking because it seems that the band goes smoothly to success through the years, you released albums regularly and the line-up didn’t change a lot since 1995.

    In fact, over the past 10 years many as request to see THE BLACK live more than in the past,  everyone starting to be curious about my singing in Latin that I brought with me from the beginning, the band is solid and we can always do many things properly and like I want it to do, Mario Di Donato's “THE BLACK” has now become a cult figure and this makes me feel rewarded  for the great consistency and pledge that I've putted in my music and the Ars Metal Mentis (the new musical genre of Metal) that I've ever tried to push and in wich I believed, its finally recognized and appreciated all over the world even from young bands.

    Mario you play heavy music for about 25 years, it’s a quarter of a century! And it’s only if we’re talking about The Black leaving Requiem and Unreal Terror beyond this interview. Can you tell us about your becoming as musician?

    I was born painter and musician, I always wanted to compose music and create paintings, but even before the Unreal Terror and Requiem I was in the music scene, since 1967 with bands called Respiro Di Cane and, UT and Un Caso Di Follia and at last I Picchiati starting in the 1966. For me compose music and paint is always been two inseparable things, the one follow the other.

    Most of European and American doom bands were influenced first of all by Ancient Ones as Black Sabbath, Deep Purple or – later - by Saint Vitus, Pentagram and so on. But such influences (any outer rock influences) are not so obvious in your case, do you remember how the sound of The Black was developing in first years of band’s activity?

    It 's just a matter of style, after listening to the best bands in the world and have somehow formed a great wealth of music, I can say that today we can talk of a “Blackian” style that comes close to any of the greats of the past, I've modeled my sound, my style year after year trying to figure out something original and personal, but only my emotions and what I have to say allowed me to do it, “Blackian” style its something that comes from the inside, its not a matter of sound, volume, effects its just me talking trough my music.

     You also released a classy vinyl edition of “Gorgoni” yet I see that some of your releases were produced only into vinyl or only into CD. What feeling does prevail in your when you hold vinyl releases in your hands – a sense of beauty or a longing for “old days”?

    Surely the vinyl is the greatest thrill for those who listen to music belonging to the fact that everything is visually more consistent whit it, but the culture, the collecting that is around the vinyl give to it a great charm. I hope that my record label will always follow this route, I love vinyl they are timeless and give to our music and important artistic visual side.

    You combine progressive rock with classic doom metal in your songs, what do you think about more straightforward music? Is it too simple for you to play?

    When I compose there are no specific references to some musical style or specific band, and everything that comes out of my head then it’s arranged with the band. However, my direction is and always will be the Dark Doom Metal. About straightforward music personally for me its not more simple to play than the articulated music like mine, I love this style, this is my natural approach in the music it comes naturally out like this, so its a part of me, its not a decision that I make before, it comes out in the moment that I take my guitar.

    What do you think about development of Italian progressive and doom scene? There are such classic as Death SS and Paul Chain, Abysmal Grief continues their solemn crusade from the greave side, yet there is a lot of new names playing in these genres: Black Oath, Midryasi, Void Generator.

    I love the Italian scene closer to my conception of music and Doom Dark Metal but above all I admire and I love to listen to the new Italian's Metal bands some of them definitely have a better   and futuristic ideas (hope so) to keep forward in the time the Dark Doom Metal music. But the big names mentioned like DEATH SS and PAUL CHAIN ​​are important for the history and the foundations of Dark Italian Doom Metal, a good point where to start.

    Mario, two years ago you received an international award “Premio Dante Aligheri”, can you tell us about this event?

    It was great, in the Metal history no Metalhead musician has ever received an award for music and culture like this, I've never removed from the neck that large silver medal given to me,  remembering that special evening spent with so many Metalheads and fan that were there for me,  the other winners and with so many people maybe a little bit impressed by my style with my studs on my leather jacket, skulls rings, crosses on myy neck my old the midst of people dressed in suits and ties, that was a great victory for the Italian Metal!

    Thank you for your time Mario! It was a real honour to have this discussion with you, hope we’ll have a chance to talk in a future, good luck!

    Many thanks and greetings to you Aleks and to all from your team.
    Nunc Et Semper, Mario “THE BLACK” Di Donato.

    Interview By Aleks

    Official Website
    YouTube Official

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  • 02/22/13--17:07: VA - CHILEAN FUZZ ...
  • Here is another cool compilation that was released very recently by a fat bunch of bands from a monster scene for heavy music, Chile. Chile’s underground scene is just amazing. Big underground labels devoted to black and death metal have been realizing this and appreciating and supporting the Chilean black-death metal scene since a while. But Chile has got also an impressive, equally monster scene for doom, sludge and stoner/desert and punk/garage rock. Many of us, especially those who followed blogs years ago may remember some legendary names, like Electrozombies, Hielo Negro, Yajaira, and the other bands of the Proyecto Sepulcro, like Sangria. Legendary bands but still active and followed by a big number of other, newer bands making up a tremendously rich and charming doom and stoner-fuzz-garage scene. Several of these bands are portrayed in the new special compilation dealt with here, devoted to fuzz-stoner-punk-garage rock.

    Chile is full of excellent bands, and basically all of them are diy, unsigned, independent, or whatever. Apart form a few exceptions, most of these bands seem to be totally ignored by big labels and so they self-produce their albums armed only with their passion and deep love for music, a way for overcoming everyday difficulties. I suppose there are many scenes where the same considerations apply, although the extent of Chile’s underground scene is just impressive. Doommantia hosts a few articles devoted to Chile bands, like At Devil Dirt, Kayros, Abismo, Demonauta, etc. The compilation includes At Devil Dirt and Demonauta (who, by the way, have a cool new album out …), together with many other cool bands stemming from the different parts of this huge nation, from the northern desert area of Atacama to the freezing region of Patagonia.  I came to know a few of these other bands, like Lisergico, Acido, Invitado de Piedra, El Camino, Camino de Piedra, when I started exploring the Chile scene for my radio shows on Core of Destruction Radio not long ago. Four hours of two dedicated radio shows/podcasts did cover only a small part of the incredible Chile scene.
    So this compilation CHILEAN FUZZ brought surprises and new discovers for me as well.  

    The compilation is available for download at Bandcamp. Since the number of downloads has rapidly exceeded the limit for free download, you can either choose to spend the monster amount of 0.50 US$ (or more) for downloading the compilation (1 hour 20 minutes-long) or else to use the download codes provided on the Facebook page of the CHILEAN FUZZ compilation.  Alternatively there are some other links provided by the bands, posted on the above Facebook page  and reported below.

    1. CHINASKI – Raices  6:21
    2. BRUTO – Mas Alla  04:08
    3. EL CAIRO – Outside   03:02
    4. LISERGICO – Acido  04:28
    5. BARBARA & LOS ROTOS DEL ROCK – Tu no sabes quien soy  02:19
    6. ORATE – Dice No NO 03:17
    7. PIEDRASECA – Shine  05:14
    8. THE SUICIDE BITCHES – Cold Woman 02:32
    9. INVITADO DE PIEDRA – La Herida  05:02
    10. DEMONAUTA – Hotel  05:52
    11. EL CAMINO – Serpiente  04:32
    12. ACIDO – Endeken  03:20
    13. PERRO LOCO - 35°  03:24
    14. CHEVY – Rpm  04:11
    15. MADRE DE DIOS – Ahora  02:59
    16. CAMINO DE TIERRA – Punk Rock Carnaval  03:06
    17. LARRYTRAZK – Del Dolor a la Fuerza  02:43
    18. HABLAME SUCIO – Vagabundo  02:00
    19. AT DEVIL DIRT – Falling Down  02:40
    20. SOPONCIO – Incisiones  04:39
    21. GASA - A Travers del Olvido  03:42

    So, roll a fat one, relax, enjoy the fuzz, travel to those far-off magic open spaces across the Cordillera, in the southern hemisphere, and get to know this kickass heavy scene more and more … \m/

    Words: Marilena Moroni
    CHILEAN FUZZ Facebook Page
    VA – CHILEAN FUZZ (2013)  -  Bandcamp Link

    Other links:
    - Mozcu.Com | Chilean Fuzz
    - Chilean Fuzz | Dropbox

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    Well, I guess Doommantia is the best place for sharing this slab of “trve” Sabbathian tunes.  I am here dealing with the latest free release of Mag-Music Productions, which is part of the Italian webzine Mag-Music. The new collection is called VA. - Hands of Doom, A Tribute to Black Sabbath and comprises 13 tracks of covers of legendary songs by mighty Black Sabbath done by 13 Italian bands devoted to different genres. And this is one of the features making this collection interesting.

    The spirit of Black Sabbath can be conjugated by different minds and attitudes but it won’t loose power and emotion. The bands involved belong to genres ranging from occult to dark prog doom (Black Oath, L’Impero delle Ombre, Confraternita del Vuoto Immenso) to various shades of psychedelia and prog rock, doom and post-metal (Buttered Bacon Biscuits, Misty Morning, Zippo, Vitales Exequiae, Quiet in the Cave), psych stoner and mammoth hard rock (Sergeant Hamster, Witche’s Brew), avantgarde heavy rock (Fuzz Orchestra), variably eclectic thrash metal (Hopesend, Malanoctem) and, not least, experimental psych grind/sludgecore (Viscera///).

    This is a truly intense and charming collection of by now classic dark heaviness that will keep you busy with memories about your first encounters (or infection) with early Black Sabbath, the fathers of Doom Metal in particular, and of Heavy Metal in general.

    I just want to add a fine text written by Stefano Cerati, one of the best known Italian writers about heavy music and huge lover of Black Sabbath. He recently released a fine, critical book about lyrics in early Black Sabbath albums.
    Here is my (free) translation of Stefano Cerati’s introduction to the compilation:

    “The contribution that Black Sabbath gave to modern music is much wider than having created a musical genre, Heavy Metal, in spite of the fact that the latter feature alone would deserve enormous admiration.
    Black Sabbath’s art is a reference for style, an archetype of work, a unique fusion of styles ranging from blues to rock, jazz and up to psych and prog experimentation and with the involvement of an orchestra and synth into a new rock formula. Black Sabbath have always been ahead of their times and have looked at everyday world with lucid craziness for transforming it in a scary and esoteric way. And this is where their innovative approach resides, i.e. having conceived pop and rock music not as a means for comfortably entertaining the listeners but for scaring and menacing them. The gruesome bell tolls and the rumbling thunder grimly opening the 1970 album Black Sabbath tell us that the happy decade of the Sixties and their issues about peace and love, flower power and hippies, are definitely, formally and ideally a closed chapter. A new era had started drenched with horror, with fear of the Cold War and of Vietnam, of the atomic bomb and of heroin. All of these themes were brightly developed in Geezer Butler’s surreal style.
    Hence Black Sabbath’s influence was not constrained simply to the music realm but was also reflected in the ethics of the many who explored the dark side of the human mind in music. Such aspect manifested also in the graphical representation, in the lyrics and in the choreography of live shows that became a reference point for all heavy bands. The early, 1969 - 1978 Black Sabbath line-up, the one including Ozzy, never ceased experimenting till the end while always trying to improve and find new combinations of sounds.
    This is the greatest teaching Black Sabbath gave to modern generations: always try and challenge your limits and do not be scared of daring. Only from personality and originality blooms true art.”


    1. Black Oath – Electric Funeral
    2. Buttered Bacon Biscuits – A National Acrobat
    3. Confraternita del Vuoto Immenso – Solitude
    4. L’Impero delle Ombre – Snowblind
    5. Sergeant Hamster – Into the Void
    6. Hopesend – Embryo/Children of the Grave
    7. Witche’s Brew – Paranoid
    8. Fuzz Orchestra – Behind the Wall of Sleep
    9. Viscera/// – Wheels of Confusion/The Straightener
    10. Zippo – Wicked World
    11. Vitales Exsequiae – Who Are You?
    12. Quiet in the Cave – Sweet Leaf
    13. Misty Morning – The Wizard
    14. Malanoctem – Sabba Sanguinario (Sabbath Bloody Sabbath)

    Words: Marilena Moroni

    Original post on Mag-Music : HERE

    VA. - Hands of Doom, A Tribute to Black Sabbath   (Bandcamp link – free download): HERE

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  • 02/25/13--13:34: Naga - "Naga" ...
  • Once upon a time there was a doom metal with the rather quirky name of Kill The Easter Rabbit. The band recorded a couple of demos, released a EP followed by a split with Black Land before releasing their debut full length album 'Apokatastasis.' Then the rabbit mysteriously just got up and hopped away. The bad news is the rabbit was killed and is no more, the good news is most of the band members involved are still together and are forging ahead under the band name of Naga. Maybe they thought a band name about a Easter rabbit didn't fit right for a sludgy doom metal act but after hearing this short EP I have to say the name change seems wise.

    The band originally played a kind of stoner-doom that was unique with great riffs and powerful vocals along with some great infectious grooves but things change don't they and not always for the better. While the band was never 100% original as KTER, they still had their own way of doing things and that made them sound unique within the endless sea of stoner-doom acts. Now move on to 2013 and this 2-track 23 minute EP seem to be wanting to copy Yob. This are no direct rip-offs going on within these two tracks but the similarity to Yob is obvious within just a few minutes of track one 'The Path.' This wouldn't be that much of a problem, after-all Yob are a great influence to have but this is just too close for comfort and so it is a bit of a distraction that takes away some of the pleasure this EP has to offer.

    So there is not much more to say. If you like Yob and if you don't mind a bit of doom metal recycling, then will like this Naga EP. If you are looking for freshness, originality and for something unique within the field of stoner-doom then you might want to stay clear of this. The verdict is this is great for what it is but it has to lose several rating points over the similarities to Yob. .......6/10.

    Naga | Facebook

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    Whenever I happen to hear or read about an extreme metal band coming from New Zealand, well, my hairs on the neck raise like in hyenas, my mouth starts watering and my teeth start growing like fangs in those extinct primitive tigers. Horrible, eh? I mean, New Zealand is the land of Meth Drinker, Open Tomb, Baboon King, Invertebrate, and also some supremely nasty acts like Diocletian, Vassafor, Witchrist, Skuldom …Incredibly, that peaceful-looking part of the world is a cradle for some of the most punishing metal ever done, especially if compared to the volume of humans dwelling there!  So let’s meet another band from those latitudes, a rather new band, actually. Mosquito Control are a duo from Auckland devoted to sludge-doom metal and involving Fei Yun on guitars, vocals and bass and Hayes Fuentes  on drums. These guys were / are involved in various other local projects and bands, like the sludge/doom band Shrimpfist, the stoner rock act Cashcult and the black/noise act Torch of Decaying Log. So quite a wide range of variety.

    In Mosquito Control these dudes devote skins, axes and throat to build up some truly sick, grim and poisonus blend of ultra-distorted, funereal sludge doom metal. Their first utters, or else tortured moanings and sounds, are contained in their debut, limited edition 2012 Demo/Promo Tape. Two tracks  that were enough for attracting the attention of a UK label with a good sniff for crushingly heavy music, Mordgrimm Recs. So a full length album by Mosquito Control is due out in the next few months via the British label.  The new album is called "Destroyed Beyond Redemption" and is going to include remixed versions of the two raw, crushing tracks of the debut tape. These two tracks can be streamed on Bandcamp so to have an idea of what attracted the boss of Mordgrimm. Those who like analog music may also get hold of the solid demo tape (only a few are still available).

    The 8:20 minutes-long suite Disconnection will be the opener of the new album. The rumble and the vibrations of the downtuned guitars give the first assault to your ears, then the tortured, suffocating vocals in the background will dig their way through the reverbered feedback. The initial slow blows on the drums are almost reassuring in their sort of ritualistic rhythms. But fury and chaos will soon take over with the introduction of crazy black metal/crust accelerations of both riffs and blows and ear-bleeding noise. The atmospheres and the sensations induced by Mosquito Control are suicidal, yet the absurdly slow, monolithic riffs flowing and pulverizing everything  like fronts of a glacier do possess a sabbathian groove that is able to capture your mind like a hook in your mouth. The second track, Destroyed Beyond Redemption, is shorter (slightly longer than 5 minutes) and will finish you. Right from the very first instants you’ll be run over by a deafening, enormous, bison-like charge of relentless, tribal drumming, seismic molasse-heavy riffs and scary non-human howls. When tempos slow down in the funereal core of the track you can hear those familiar sabbathian riffs vibrate even if tremendously raw and downtuned.  Instead of closing with long noisy feedback dying out into silence, the band will salute you with another taste of their gigantic charge before closing the track in the same abrupt way as in the previous track. This trick will make silence boom and will leave you wanting to suffer longer!

    The production is quite remarkable. It is true that these two tape tracks are raw mix of the new album, but still it is interesting to hear the strong contrast between the extreme rawness of the riffs and the comparably crispy sound of drumming. Vocals are rendered as painfully emerging from something viscous and intoxicating like molten pitch!  The full-length album is being mastered by none less than mighty James Plotkin, hence upcoming things will be even more promising! So if you like that wild, toxic way of making dark, punishing ultra-heavy sludge-doom metal like in Meth Drinker, Open Tomb, or else in Euro bands like Karcavul, Grime, Cult of Occult and you appreciate sounds inspired by Corrupted, Burning Witch, Khanate, Noothgrush, Stumm as well as drenched with some Sabbathian/Saint Vitus groove, then try Mosquito Control and keep them under your radar for their upcoming album …. And those who are at reach, get hold of these dudes live as they will play their first gig next late March with monster Open Tomb & another local nasty band, Graves. See the band’s FB page for details!

    Words: Marilena Moroni

    Mordgrimm Records | Facebook

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  • 02/25/13--20:06: Second Grave – S/T EP ...
  • “Second Grave” is a rather menacing name for a band. For those who missed this band before, such name might hint to some nasty goat-obsessed satanic act making punishing noise behind some tombstones in a snowy nothern cemetery. The folks behind Second Grave are probably equally condemned to endless hellish flames because of their practice of sinful heavy music and their due reference to Lovecraft.

    The vehicle of sin for these guys and gal is some flamboyant, sinfully burning hot, heavy doom metal. Second Grave are a very young band from Boston, Massachusetts (USA). They started playing in 2012 and released their remarkable debut self-titled Ep during August 2012. The quality of the release lead them to share the stage soon with some killer acts such as Witch Mountain, Castle, and Elder in the second part of the year. No surprise for quality: this “young” band includes experienced musicians from the fine US doom scene, and in particular from world-known bands, like Warhorse and Black Pyramid.

    Skill and experience are coupled with some excellent taste in writing music and with the bonus addition of a special feature, i.e. the intense and fascinating vocal parts lead by guitarist Krista Van Guilder. Krista is one of the founders of legendary doom band Warhorse back in mid 90s.  As reported in the web, the band stemmed from the interaction between drummer Chuck Ferreira (ex-Nodscene) and Krista (previously also in bands Lucubro and Obsidian Halo) and further involved guitarist Chris Drzal (from Obsidian Halo as well). After “hashing out song ideas and sowing the early seeds of rock”, Gein (Black Pyramid, ex-Gein and the Graverobbers) entered the crew on bass, and Second Grave was officially born. In the Second Grave EP there’s much to munch. The band’s filks called it EP but you’ll be pleasantly distracted from grey everyday life issues for 33 minutes.  As it is typical in the doom genre, tracks are often substantial, 8-9 minutes-long, and introduced or separated by shorter tracks where the band might even stray from the dominant style and delight you with surprising atmospheric passages, like the gloomy intro in Through the Red Door or the delicate acoustic interlude in track Salvation located halfway through the album as starting a hypothetical side B of an LP version.

    The other four songs are slabs of solid and palpitanting heavy metal lead by powerful riffage and enticing melodies ranging all the way between stoner/hard-rocking to epic and gruesome doomy. The songs are definitely catchy and highly melodic also thanks to Krista’s beautiful and seducing voice, but the richness in the composition, the architecture of the guitar/bass/drumming patterns and the continuous change in, let’s say, sonic perspective fill this album with originality and surprises. The most surprising of all tracks is probably the central suite bearing the Lovecraftian title of Mountains of Madness. How tricky is its main section opened by a yummi beating bass, and lead by the heavy rock/metal dynamics, hooking guitar solos and soulful chanting by Krista variably heard in the previous tracks. Krista’s voice is remarkably melodic and blues-oriented, normally not evoking images of a scary banshee. But the witch and her nasty pageants will pull their benevolent masks off right during the final part of this song, by plunging straight and suddenly into pure doom and gloom. There gruesome hissing screams and growls, reminiscent of Vanessa Nocera’s scary singing style in Wooden Stake, will reinforce the sinister, grotesque atmospheres evoked by the plodding heaviness of the “trve” Sabbathian riffs. This is the only moment in the album where the band delves into doom darkness as if they were taking off the lid of a mysterious buried crypt.

    And this is probably also the way of recalling Krista’s days in Warhorse, like in the early demos where she was probably a bit heavier than in Second Grave. This band definitely enjoys to mould their own style starting from a solid classic base and enriching it with flair, taste and technical skill. But some features in the solid structure of Second Grave’s style suggest that this band is not at all “crystallized” yet and future releases may bring some more interesting and rewarding developments towards unpredictable sonic directions and, thus, cool surprises. Surely will hear more about Second Grave soon. As a matter of fact, year 2013 is going to be a fruitful year for this band. Second Grave is going to join Castle on their 2013 tour, then play with several other cool bands like Elder, Pilgrim, Gozu, Lord Fowl and so on. Moreover Second Grave have been invited to play in the Stoned Hand of Doom festival later in the year, and they have plans to release a split 12" vinyl at some point.
    In view of what will come soon, enjoy the intensity of Second Grave’s debut, self-titled and proudly self-produced album. This can be streamed and got hold of as digital version via Bandcamp or else bought in solid form via the band’s website.

    Words: Marilena Moroni

    Official Website
    Bandcamp (Streaming and Purchase)

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    SPIRITUAL BEGGARS — the Swedish band featuring ARCH ENEMY guitarist Michael Amott and bassist Sharlee D'Angelo, along with vocalist Apollo Papathanasio (ex-FIREWIND) — will release its eighth studio album, "Earth Blues", on April 16 (one day earlier internationally) via InsideOut Music.

    The first track released from the CD, "Turn The Tide", can be streamed below.

    Commented Amott: "I had the idea for this artwork from my time as a child, seeing posters of two young lovers watching a romantic sunset on the beach — just your typical tacky bedroom art in the '70s, really... Also, growing up in what is now referred to with some nostalgia as the Atomic Age — the threat of nuclear war was always looming over our heads it seemed. I wanted to combine these two images of my youth in one paradoxical image and Per Wiberg of Hippograffix (and SPIRITUAL BEGGARS keyboardist) really managed to capture the melancholic feeling perfectly. Earth Blues, indeed."

    Regarding the making of "Earth Blues", Amott said: "We started the recording process of 'Earth Blues' with an eight-day-long session at Fat Guitar Studios (Sweden) with knob-twiddler Roberth Ekholm, a truly great dude who really knows how to capture a band jamming live, sadly a rare quality in recording engineers nowadays! We continued with some overdubs at various studios in Sweden, and it's all come together super easy this time. Sonically, I think this might be our finest hour yet. It's a raw, heavy and honest record."

    In order to promote this upcoming release as well as the band's anniversary, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS have confirmed a European tour for April with support by German rockers ZODIAC, as well as some European summer festivals.

    SPIRITUAL BEGGARS in 2011 released a live CD entitled "Return To Live: Loud Park 2010" in Japan via Trooper Entertainment. The disc features eight songs, capturing the bands high-energy performance at Loud Park 10 at Saitama Super Arena, Japan on October 17, 2010. The live recording was mixed in Sweden by Staffan Karlsson and Rickard Bengtsson at Studio Landgren 5.3 and The Sweet Spot Studio in December 2010. The artwork and design was handled by Hippograffix.

    The new lineup of SPIRITUAL BEGGARS made its live debut on October 1, 2010 at Kyttaro club in Athens, Greece.

    SPIRITUAL BEGGARS's seventh studio album, "Return To Zero", was released in Japan on August 25, 2010 via Trooper Entertainment Inc. — the label founded by legendary Japanese heavy metal music industry guru Tetsu Miyamoto. The Japanese special edition comes in a glossy paper box with a poster and a sticker of the CD front cover. The Japanese edition also features a bonus track, a thunderous cover of URIAH HEEP's "Time To Live" off the legendary U.K. band's 1971 "Salisbury" record.

    "Return To Zero" was released in North America on October 12, 2010 via InsideOut Music. The follow-up to 2005's "Demons" was recorded at Sweetspot Studio with producer Rickard Bengtsson.


    Michael Amott (ARCH ENEMY, CARCASS) - Guitar
    Ludwig Witt (FIREBIRD) - Drums
    Per Wiberg (OPETH) - Keyboards
    Sharlee D'Angelo (ARCH ENEMY, MERCYFUL FATE) - Bass
    Apollo Papathanasio (FIREWIND) - Vocals

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    There are few artists you can single-handedly point to as being a trailblazers of a specific musical style. But when it comes to American heavy metal, DUST is one such band. Comprised of singer/guitarist/songwriter Richie Wise, bassist Kenny Aaronson and drummer Marc Bell (with Kenny Kerner supplying lyrics and sharing songwriting and production duties), the band issued a pair of cult classic albums — 1971's self-titled debut and 1972's "Hard Attack" — before splitting up. Both albums have been long out of print, but headbangers will now get a chance to discover the legend, as Sony/Legacy will be reissuing both albums on a remastered (from the original analog master tapes) single CD on April 16, with a Record Store Day exclusive vinyl version released on April 20.

    "We were loud and fast, and it was just unreal," recalls Wise. "Even when we played low, we were 20 times louder than everybody else. When we got our record deal, I got three Marshall stacks, Kenny Aaronson bought four Acoustic 360-watt amps, Marc bought this huge set of Ludwigs with a big 28-inch bass drum. On stage, it was just an amazing amount of exhale — not a whole lot of inhale."

    And while they may not have acquired fame with DUST, all four aforementioned contributors found success elsewhere — Bell as the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame/Grammy Award-winning drummer for the RAMONES (after changing his name to Marky Ramone), Aaronson as a bassist-for-hire with rock's elite (Bob Dylan, Sammy Hagar, Joan Jett), and Kerner and Wise as a successful production duo (who produced KISS' first two classic albums).

    As evidenced by such metallic rockers as "From A Dry Camel", "Suicide" and "Stone Woman", the band had no problem matching the power and the fury of such peers as BLACK SABBATH. "Musically, locally, we stuck out," explains Bell. "We were teenagers, but we were pretty developed as musicians — concerning that genre. Nobody else in Brooklyn that I knew of could do what we could do as a threesome. And we had a style. Yeah, we could all play blues and rock, but we took it further. We took it to different time changes within the songs, and people weren't doing that at that time."

    With modern-day technology at their disposal, the newly remastered DUST release rocks harder than ever before — as the band worked directly with the original master tapes. "We tweaked it a bit," points out Aaronson. "But didn't want to stray too far from the original, because that's what people who do know it are used to. If it was up to me, I was thinking, 'I wish I could remix the whole record,' but the remastering was nice."

    But it's the quality of DUST's music that has persevered all these years, and the proof is within the upcoming "Dust/Hard Attack" reissue. "I think the music is relevant today," says Kerner. "I think young kids who never heard it before will find new metal heroes, and people who grew up with DUST will rekindle their love for this music and this band!"

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