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- 03/16/13--09:27: _Killing Everything:...
- 03/17/13--08:00: _Midryasi – "Black, ...
- 03/18/13--14:22: _Iron Hearse - "Get ...
- 03/18/13--15:20: _INTERVIEW: Take a J...
- 03/18/13--15:48: _INTERVIEW: Funeral ...
- 03/19/13--19:10: _Mythology in Doom: ...
- 03/21/13--08:58: _New CRESTFALLEN & S...
- 03/21/13--14:12: _Boudain - "EP" ...
- 03/22/13--07:17: _NEWS: CANDLEMASS:...
- 03/22/13--15:06: _REVIEW AND INTERVIE...
- 03/23/13--14:58: _ED UPDATE & DOOMMAN...
- 03/25/13--07:42: _Doomsters BEVAR SEA...
- 03/25/13--07:57: _GLOOMY FRIENDS: A I...
- 03/25/13--16:07: _ANNIMAL MACHINE - "...
- 03/25/13--18:59: _SERPENT THRONE: New...
- 03/26/13--19:30: _The Curse of Wendig...
- 03/26/13--19:45: _News: Robustfest Vo...
- 03/27/13--09:41: _CEREKLOTH - "In the...
- 03/27/13--16:35: _NEWS: CATHEDRAL: 'T...
- 03/28/13--08:14: _313 INC Artist Mana...
- 03/16/13--09:27: Killing Everything: Interview with DEVIL TO PAY ...
- 03/17/13--08:00: Midryasi – "Black, Blue & Violet" ...
- 03/18/13--14:22: Iron Hearse - "Get in the Hearse" ...
- 03/18/13--15:48: INTERVIEW: Funeral Dirges for the Doomed - Abysmal Grief ...
- 03/21/13--08:58: New CRESTFALLEN & SOGGY BOG Playlists Up on the PODCAST Page ...
- 03/21/13--14:12: Boudain - "EP" ...
- 03/22/13--07:17: NEWS: CANDLEMASS: New Video Interview Posted Online ...
- 03/23/13--14:58: ED UPDATE & DOOMMANTIA.COM NEWS ...
- 03/25/13--07:42: Doomsters BEVAR SEA to take part in MOTORHEAD tribute ...
- 03/25/13--07:57: GLOOMY FRIENDS: A Interview with THE CURSE OF WENDIGO ...
- 03/25/13--16:07: ANNIMAL MACHINE - "ANNIMAL MACHINE EP" ...
- 03/25/13--18:59: SERPENT THRONE: New Track "Brother Lucifer" ...
- 03/26/13--19:30: The Curse of Wendigo - "Eclectic Tail" ...
- 03/26/13--19:45: News: Robustfest Vol.2 DVD almost out! ...
- 03/27/13--09:41: CEREKLOTH - "In the Midst of Life, We Are In Death" ...
- 03/27/13--16:35: NEWS: CATHEDRAL: 'Tower Of Silence' Video Released ...
Steve Janiak (guitar / vocals): I wish! We had put the band together pretty quickly and needed a name. I was throwing around ‘Brontosaurus’ and ‘Hog Leg’ as options but the guys hated them. I have a book of phrases and took it to my forklift job, scouring through it on my breaks, looking for anything. Devil to Pay is one of the few things I wrote down. Shortly after, I signed us up for a battle of the bands and we ended up with a show two weeks later, so it stuck.
Could you name a few bands that have inspired you-and maybe name a few favorite albums?
Steve: We could probably go on for hours, but the main inspiration for DEVIL TO PAY was always rooted in the classics: Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, ZZ Top as well as stuff from when we were teenage metalheads: Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer. Throw in some Soundgarden and Mudhoney, and top it off with C.O.C., Orange Goblin, Kyuss, Queens, Goatsnake, Clutch et al. But honestly, we all love all kinds of music. I think my favorite record of all time is Reverend Horton Heat’s ‘Full Custom Gospel Sounds of’.
Rob Hough (guitars): Recently inspired by UFO and Rainbow, as I started digging into the 70's rock/metal vibe. Two of my favorite albums would be Metallica's "Kill'em All" and Slayer's "South of Heaven". I can still listen to both of those pretty much any day/night, non-stop.
How did the band get together? Where did you guys meet? What bands were you playing in previously?
Steve: At the time, I was playing in a band called the Pub Sigs. Myself, our original guitarist and drummer decided to get together and ‘jam some heavy shit’. Once we had a show lined up, we asked Matt to play bass. After two shows our drummer quit and Matt called Chad. They grew up getting into trouble together and played in the same bands in high school.
The new album is out-could you tell us about recording the new album. Did you guys enter the studio with all of the material written ahead of time?
Rob: We usually have 90% of the songs done before we hit the studio, and make adjustments as we go. Lyrics, solos and minor arrangement changes tend to happen in the studio as you start hearing things quite a bit differently in the confines of the control room versus the rehearsal space.
Steve: As far as writing goes, almost all the songs start as a riff that’s thrown out at practice. Occasionally I will lay down some ideas at home and bring them in, like “Yes Master” and “Ten Lizardmen”. Then they get fleshed out. While we’re trying to arrange them, I will throw out vocal melodies and we’ll record everything, soak it all in. Sometimes Rob will be playing something on his guitar while we’re discussing another topic and I’ll stop him and make him play it again. I’m pretty sure that’s how “Prepare to Die” started. “Savonarola” was something we had worked on for the last record, but it never came together for whatever reason. We picked it up, dusted it off and gave it an entirely different treatment.
Who writes the bands' lyrics? What inspires your writing?
Steve: Up to this point I have written all the lyrics. That could change, who knows? I am big into improvising melodies so it’s difficult to put words in them sometimes. For inspiration, this record deals mostly with my slowly morphing view of reality. I had this epiphany one night, out of the blue. From that point on I became obsessed with this power-of-the-mind, what-is-real, why-are-we-here sort of stuff. I was reading all these books, videos, and podcasts and checking out eastern philosophies, quantum theory, multiple universes, out of body experiences, life after death, channeling, and pretty much any new age idea you would ever come across. It’s a bit hard to explain, as I had a cursory interest in all of those things growing up. But this was more like divine inspiration. It was all very heavy and uplifting at the same time. Long story short, I feel like a
liberated spirit and of course, a bunch of that ended up in the lyrics. Not like a religious nut though, more like a metaphysical student of the mystic arts.
Is the band going on tour with this album, or playing any rock festivals this year?
Steve: We’re planning on hitting the road this summer. Right now we’re scheduled for Indy Metalfest in September. Stay tuned!
If you are asked is "Devil to Pay" a rock band, or metal band or both? You have combined many influences.
Rob: At the end of the day, metal is rock (imho). Though I've met quite a few individuals that would want to fight me over words like that! To them, I would say... We're a hard rock band with metal roots.
Steve: Yeah. We are definitely a rock band with a few different roots. I don’t know if it’s wrong to be weaving in and out of genres on an album (or a song), but that’s part of who we are. Some people spend a lot of energy defining music and limits and barriers. I understand that on a communication basis, for accurately describing something, but I’ve never thought“we must be metal!” On some levels it’s a bit weird. For a typical rock fan, we are pretty heavy, but for a typical metal fan, we’re more like easy listening.
Are there any bands from Indianapolis that you like or champion currently?
Rob: Heavy Lies the Crown, and Dead Birds Adore Us.
Steve: I’ve always been partial to my bros in Goliathon and So Sayeth, but there are many talented bands in and around Indy. The new Teenage Strange blew me away.
What has kept the band together over the years?
Steve: Great question. I guess it’s because we all enjoy the music? I am not sure I know how to quit. It’s one of those things I decided a long time ago, “I’m doing this, come hell or high water.” At some point we let go of the bullshit and made a conscious decision to go with the flow. I think that was key.
Thanks to Doommantia for taking the time!
Interview By John Wisniewski
Name-wise these guys had smartly chosen a name derived from a scientific term (mydriasis) maybe a bit tricky to read but very evocative. Mydriasis is the excessive dilation of the pupil due to various causes like disease, trauma, death, or, less tragically, the use of drugs. Useless to say, our metal rockers in Midryasis are all in for the latter! After over ten years of activity, Midryasi are rocking harder than ever. Coming from Varese, in Northern Italy, Midryasi jumped into the Italian underground heavy scene with their amazing self-titled debut demo released back in 2004. The band went through some changes in the line-up especially in the last years. But the initial spirit and love for doom, retro psych-prog rock and improvisation, moving founders Guanera, Convulsion and Sappah back in 2002, is still there and stronger than ever. Like their music. During 2007 Midryasi became Convulsion on bass and vocals, Sappah on drums and Paul Paganhate on guitars (replacing Guanera). Sappah is also known for his militancy in the psychedelic beast Da Captain Trips. After the acclaimed powerful 2009 album Corridors (out on Iron Tyrant Records) and after several years of much live activity in Italy and abroad, the band incorporated a valuable new element, prog metaller and keyboard-player Udz (aka Umberto Desanti), whose contribution added further fuel to the band also during live exhibitions. And at the beginning of 2013 a new, vigorous album, Black, Blue & Violet, came to life.
The new album to come had been hinted and mentioned in more than one inteview done by our Aleks with Midryasi’s guys, last year and at the very beginning of this year. Then the official announcement came and eventually the band celebrated the newborn album with a big release party at the beginning of March. Black, Blue & Violet includes seven tracks for almost 40 minutes of intense riff-laden, proggy heavy psych doom tunes where Midryasis’ main sources of inspiration, i.e., Black Sabbath, Saint Vitus, Pentagram, retro Hawkwind-like space psychedelia and acid rock, the dark ferocity of Celtic Frost, Italian retro-prog rock, desert rock, etc., are blended in the dynamic and lively way typical for these guys. Black, Blue & Violet is one of those albums capable to translate and convey the energy of a band’s live exhibitions both for the vortex of variegated music continuously stimulating your imagination and for the fine quality of the sound. You may also add a further bonus, a visual one, if you consider the beauty of the vinyl version of the album which is coloured according to its title: black background broken by radiating blue and violet spikes and flames, dark, luscious and psychedelic at the same time.
Track The Counterflow is a great way of plunging into Midryasi’s heavily rocking Black, Blue and Violet world. This powerful song opens with retro electronic effects and the strong impact of Sappah’s thundering tribal-like drumming before a vortex of riffs will explode. Midryasi’s distorted guitar sounds are raw, deep, dissonant, aggressive, yet hot: sometimes they remind me of the guitar sounds in one of my fave bands, Witchcraft, when they “go metal”, like in their latest album. These distinctive features seem to accompany Midryasi in their releases through time and are part of the band’s own style. Another feature is dynamics that in this new album, as before, is materialized by contorted riffs and melodic patterns, tempo and stylistic changes. Definitely you don’t get bored with Midryasi. But what adds a special flavour is the adoption of retro-sounding solutions, dark sabbathian heaviness and vintage psychedelia. And speaking about retro-style, right in the opening track you’ll feel the power of the substantial addition of gothic-sounding keyboards to Midryasi’s “speed doom”, even if the sound of keyboards is often easily overwhelmed by the roaring guitars plus drums and Convulsion’s voice. Although personal, Convulsion’s strained chanting may sometimes equally recall Bobby Liebling and Magnus Pelander of Witchcraft.
Track “Diagonal” is slower, sinister and very charming in its mixture of occult atmospheres and retro psychedelic rock with keyboards and effects plus vocal distortions. The richness in shades of this album, and consequently the skills of this long lived band, are also testified by the ability of composing emotionally intense ballads like “Behind My Ice”. The song is introduced by a stream of intimacy coming from the interplay between samples of children’s voices, soft keyboard sounds, and space-like, ethereal leading melodies recalling Pink Floyd and Hawkwind. The intensity of the band’s riffs and Convulsion’s passionate singing will reinforce the stream of passion in this doomy ballad. After the mourns, the jewel of “Back in the Maze” will hook you up with its churning spires of great smokey, acid, heavy psych-prog rock straight from the 70’s blended with some powerful doom heaviness. Infectious! The proggy ballad Black, Blue & Violet is one of the most charming and complex tracks of this album and loaded with atmosphere. Here Udz’s keyboards are definitely the backbone of the melody and also lead some solos nested in the flamboyant riff-laden heavy rock sections. The Nuclear Dog is a refreshing heavy, space-fuzzy rock “divertissement” where the band play “fast and furious and jolly”, before the final charge of “Hole of the Saturday Night”. This is a great slab of dark, fuzzy, acid doom very much inspired by Pentagram and graced by that awesome keyboard sound. This seducing track develops in a hypnotic, meandering way like the vortex of smoke from your fat joint and progressively slows down until it dies out. Slumber.
Here is the band’s interpretation of the colours: “Black, as night and the visions evoked by Hole of the Saturday Night; Blue, as the violent fluid feelings of The Counterflow and violet, as the reflections and flares captured by Diagonal.” Midryasi’s new album is for those who love “old school” heavy rock sounds, dark sounds, retro prog-psychedelia and heavy doom reworked in a personal way by people who love and have fun with music. After ten years this band is alive and kicking more than ever and keep on making great music. The new album is in full continuity with the previous production, so those who loved Midryasi’s previous releases will be rewarded. However the stable addition of and the bigger role for keyboards surely gave and give great results both on disk and gig-wise.
Black, Blue & Violet came out as CD via label My Graveyard Productions during January 2013 and then as vinyl LP version via RockWolf Records at the end of February 2013.
Words: Marilena Moroni
Midryasi | Facebook
My Graveyard Productions
Rock Wolf Records
Doom fans: take note of tracks like 'Wolf Clergy' and 'Black Sermon' for some heavy-duty doom riffing and you stoner-rocking doomster's will surely appreciate the stonerized metallic grooves of 'Hydra's Children' and others. This is a British heavy rock album and it sounds like it too. It is not just the old-school heavy metal influences that shine through in the guitar work but even the vocals have a early 80's heavy metal feel about them. On top of that, you get treated to ripping solos played with finesse and class. What also gives the band a unique edge is the way they use their Black Sabbath influences. At times it is 'Master of Reality' era, other times they sound like they are channeling the Heaven and Hell, Mob Rules era Sabbath so the overall result is one that isn't locked into any one era.
Buy It Here.....
Salute dear comrades! What is the latest news from the band and what is it current state and plans for 2013?
Buddy: Well, our vinyl reissue of "Mind Journey" has just been released. It’s basically the same as our promo album but almost completely re-recorded, remixed and remastered. For 2013 we have a LOT of plans. At least 2 full albums we have been working on for a while now… We hope to release the first one around February. We are also talking to several bands about a split album, but nothing is concrete yet.
So what is with these two new works? How has Ayahuasca Dark Trip developed since release of “The Unknown Trip” in 2011?
Brayan: I think we have grown a lot, not only musically, but also conceptually. Indy’s vocals and Sifis sonic confussion were the missing cherries in the cake. As we said on a previews interview, we’re going deeper and deeper into drone -ritual music, keeping the heavy rock idea.
Oh, I guess that you had some changes in a line-up, so next question is who are all of these people behind Ayahuasca Dark Trip?
Brayan: Trippy pot-heads playing drone music all around the world! The whole Cosmic Nod line-up (Buddy, Floris and Robin; the Dutch department), Queen Elephantine’s Indy (He’s from India but lives in the USA), Necronomicon’s Pedro (Brazilian) and Viridiana’s Sifis (Greek).
I have a question for Indy: man, you’re still running Queen Elephantine band – do you have something new to share?
Indy: Yes sir, the fourth Queen Elephantine album "Scarab" will be released in a month! You can preorder the album from our website.
And Indy, what’s the hell? You were starting original drone project Throne of the Void in the Hundred Petal Lotus, but there’s nothing new from this side as some people would like to get full-length album of the project or at least Ep. What are your plans about it? Did you already bury the project and just forget about it?
Indy: Thank you for asking. Throne of the Void in the Hundred Petal Lotus… after a while, we realized we could go deeper when we stopped playing public shows, so we only played for ourselves. Then, we took it a step further, and figured we could go deeper by not playing at all, simply existing in the Throne of the Void. The other thing that happened is that every member of Throne joined Queen Elephantine to make “Scarab”, and we were focused on that for a long while. But, actually, we're still planning to record our full length album this year. I don't know if anyone will put it out or want it, but we're going to do it.
Okay, let’s return to Ayahuasca Dark Trip, which of your song does represent the band best? Which one makes you really proud of it?
Buddy: For me personally that would have to Manantial from the "Falling Down" compilation. I really like the vibe of that track, and we used a lot of exotic instruments in it. I hope/think we will be making more tracks like that in the future.
Robin: “To the Holy Mountain”, the drums and bass were originally recorded as a Cosmic Nod track, and the result by Ayahuasca Dark Trip makes for a good trance to get into.
Which doom / metal / rock releases were most significant for you in 2012?
Buddy: I think 2012 was a pretty poor year, I don't know why...a fucked up economy maybe? Very few releases, at least of bands i listen to regularly. Some which i really liked where the new Bong album, and the new Horseback. My favorite for 2012 has to be Switchblade – 2012 though. There probably are several more but i don't remember...
Floris: Well, I don’t know many either, but She Said by Colour Haze is nice!
Sifis: Best release for 2012 is Om
Indy: Swans - The Seer.
Brayan: Bong - Mana-Yood-Sushai / Kadavar – Kadavar / Earth - Angels of Darkness, Demons Of Light II. I’ll add a non-rock album: First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar (Killer album!)
Robin: I have to agree 2012 was a poor year, but I liked the new Bong and Switchblade.
Well, it’s February, but you bloody know why I’m asking it: what is the best present you got at this New Year / Christmas?
Buddy: That would have to be the vinyl release at Musicbazz/Cosmic Eye.
Floris: Yeah the release and my first ayahuasca experience. It was the most beautiful experience I've ever had. Since its absolutely impossible to explain what happened in words, don't take it too seriously, but I’ll try to explain it a litte. It was a three day ceremony with 16 people (3 of them guided us). My first meeting with the grandmother was full of love and care. She showed me my life, where I was doing the right thing, and where I could and should improve. She showed the true nature of reality and life, and teaches you to love yourself and others. This is truly a medicine, and I'm convinced of the huge power and knowledge hidden within this experiences. I have changed for the good after this. I'm thankful for the opportunity to have such an experience, and I'll definitely take any chance to experience it again. Brayan, next year Peru right?
Brayan: The releases of ADT and Montibus Communitas at Musicbazz/Cosmic Eye and a small bag of mushrooms. Floris, sure man!
Wow, as it’s still exotic experience and some of our readers maybe forgot it, I would like to ask you share few more words about your last practice with Ayahuasca.
Floris: Ayahuasca is a sacred medicine used primarily in South America in shamanic rituals. It is said to be "10 years of psychotherapy" in one session. It helps people to get rid of all their negative patterns, depressions and addictions, and to become a happier and better person. It gets you in touch with your spiritual self. The active ingredient in the brew is dimethyltryptamine (or DMT, also called "The Spirit Molecule"), in combination with an MAO-I to make it orally active. It has been scientifically proven to have lasting positive effects on peoples mental health and life, and have no lasting negative consequences for the body (during there could be some discomforts like throwing up, diarrhea etc., which is all part of the cleansing). However, since there is an MAO-I involved, one should be very careful and research a proper diet before taking part in a ceremony.
If you take the ayahuasca with the right people (guidance is VERY important). This is truly a medicine, and should be threaded as such. I honestly believe that ayahuasca has the power to change the world, and open people up to the true nature of reality. The experience itself is to personal and abstract to really explain. It's different for every person, and different every time you take it. Ayahuasca gives you exactly what you need in your life right now, to get to that next level.
Well, this question came pretty easy because two days ago I was enduring worst hangover for 2012. What was your worst hangover? After which drink / substances did you get it and what did you do to reach such amazing results and how you survive it?
Floris: My worst one this year is the first days of 2013, a combination of weed, alcohol and acid as the final hit on NYE. Awfully hot and loud at the party, got home in a cab. Puked for a week.
Indrayudh, Sifis, Pedro, Brayan, Buddy and Robin: We're immune to alcohol, bass players are wimps.
Okay, then take care Floris! Thanks for sharing your knowledge guys, don’t protract with new album. Good luck! And please share few more words of ancient wisdom with our readers.
“All paths are the same: they lead nowhere. ... Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn't. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you.”
― Carlos Castaneda
Interview By Aleks
Abysmal Grief doesn’t need any introduction – Italian funeral mafia serves best burial rituals for about 18 years, and it’s name is a mark of qualitative and true doom, a true personification of Death and Misfortune. Moreover, there’s no another Abysmal Grief in our mortal world, and as you know these are not some shallow words. The band has a new full-length album “Feretri” (“Coffins”) through Terror From Hell Records and it’s one of first questions which I’ve asked to honorable Regen Graves of Abysmal Grief.
The new album deals again with the topic of Necromancy, no more in a individualistic way as it happened with the previous "Misfortune", but returning to a more ritualistic and detailed concept. Both the lyrics and the sound are more raw and heavy than before, and it was our main purpose, in order to express deeper the malignance of the whole work.
Once I had heard Abysmal Grief fast tempo track “Creatures From the Grave” it seems quite untypical for me because the band is more famous with its triumphant funeral march step. But now we have Ep “Celebrate What They Fear” which has one more fast track, and there’s “Hidden in the Graveyard” and “The Gaze of the Owl” onto “Feretri” album which are quiet fast too. Can you name other changes which did happen in band’s sound for a last year?
Well, I think Abysmal Grief shouldn't be considered as a "slow" band at all! We always mixed our Doom influences with a more Heavy and Dark sound, really not circumscribed in the typical Doom Metal scene. And our shows can openly demonstrate it, as we never played slow setlists! Certainly you're true when you say that our music reminds you of a solemn funeral march...this is what we want to communicate to our listeners, but we don't like to do it in a narrow way.
We use to conclude our shows with the cover of "Chains of Death" by Death SS. It's our personal way to give homage to this band, which represents the whole legendary italian Dark Sound. We shared the stage with both The Black and Black Oath, who are good friends. Usually we don't need to play so much on stage, but it depends on the situation, and we prefer to decide time by time...
Do you have any plans to really big tour in Europe? What kind of obstacles may prevent it? Abysmal Grief is famous in a doom world but such glory sometimes isn’t enough to take a long road with a lot of gigs.
We never cared about tours. Our shows are quite particular and as detailed as possible, and this wouldn't be possible to get inside a long tour, unless we don't have a lot of money to invest in. But be sure that we will never become trendy or famous, so our concerts will be always something little and intimate, if you know what i mean...
How do you see a way of Abysmal Grief current and future evolution? True to say I’m thinking that it will be enough if Abysmal Grief records an album per some period continuing to do that it does the best for last few years. Really… you do your job great, so it would be enough for most of us. But I’m sure that you understand me that it’s not easy to compose songs about Death, graveyard and rituals of funereal through a whole life, isn’t it?
You hit perfectly the mark when you say that we will go on playing the same music as now. I really don't take into consideration the idea of stylistic evolutions both in my way of composing or arranging our songs. Sometimes I listen our first demotapes, and I cannot find any difference between Abysmal Grief from 1996 to 2013, and this is probably our best quality, when it comes about "coherence". Of course someone can argue that it could become boring, but we don't care, as I can assure that we're not able to play any other kind of music than OUR music. When my songs will lose their fascination, I will simply end this experience and start something else.
Correct me if I’m wrong but I think that Abysmal Grief enriches it's charm with more aggressive touches, did your vision of band’s conception shift? And well… Abysmal Grief was formed in 1996 and it’s conception doens’t change, is an image of Death still attractive to you? Why?
The image of Death is a part of my daily life, honestly speaking. I really cannot imagine some form of Art coming out from me without any reference with it. And yes, probably we became a little more agressive growing older... I think this is quite natural when you spend your life in a world and society which spit their failures and contradictions in your face every fucking day.
You can consider it as Bad luck, but also "fear of Death". Italy (and all the countries of the Mediterranean area) has very superstitious culture and traditions, mostly caused by the catholic fear of punishment and other shit promulgated by the terrible christian church, so we decided to use this topic to attack and mock in a more subtle way all the assholes who follow like sheep the catholic hipocrisy.
Which song of Abysmal Grief does represent the band better than others and which one make you really proud of it?
Probably we like to consider "Exsequia Occulta" as the more complete song from us, but we're proud of every song, otherwise we would never record it.
Oh, I was expecting “Sepulchre of Misfortune” because it’s the song after which I became a true and zealous follower of Abysmal Grief cult. So what is about this song? How often do you play it? And do you remember how it was composed?
"Exsequia Occulta" is a 13 minutes song which describes a necromantic rite in details. I composed it at the end of 1997, during the rehearsal sessions before recording the "Funereal" demotape, and we played it live in that period, but then we decided to record it only in 2000, for our first single. At the moment we don't play it on stage anymore, so as "Sepulchre of Misfortune", but maybe some day it will return to be part of the set list, as many people still like it very much...
By the way how much have changed in your vision of songs writing? How does the process of song writing and recording go in Abysmal Grief?
I can tell you honestly that our process of composition is exactly the same since 1997! I use to compose all the riffs, and build the structure of the song, then Labes C.Necrothytus adds all the keyboard lines. Then, when the music is ready, I take my time to compose all the lyrics (usually this is the longest part of the process) and finally we meet all together to rehearse it. This is how an Abysmal Grief songs born and develop, and I'm sure it's the only way we could work.
Indeed I didn’t know that but I’ve checked metal-archives and found that you have another voiceman onto your very first demo “Funereal”: as Labes Necrothytus played only keyboard, Garian was vocalist. Who is Garian? And where does he sing now? It seems nearly impossible that someone else besides Labes sang in Abysmal Grief!
Garian stopped every musical activity after his experience with Abysmal Grief. He is a good friend of mine, even if our lives faded apart, as it always happens, and we don't meet often. At the beginning Labes was only the keyboard player in Abysmal Grief, but we decided to give him more space as the artistic direction of the band was supposed to be kept within the limits of the Gothic style, and his voice was fitting perfectly with the vision of the band I had in that period. My choice was good, after all.....
Regen, somehow most of us know you as a songwriter of Abysmal Grief, Labes C. Necrophytus is a famous “voice from the grave” but you also have a bass player Lord Alastair who’s in the band since very beginning. What can you tell us about him?
He's a part of our funeral orchestra, even if he doesn't take part in the compositions. Usually he prefers to take part in the recording and mixing process. So you can see that everyone of the 3 of us is a basic element for the complete realization of our esoteric message.
And there’s a hooded figure on some Abysmal Grief photos. Who is it? You know – some people can think that it’s one of nameless Ghouls of popular occult rock band Ghost…
The hooded figure in some old photos (besides Lord Alastair) was one of our old drummers. The only official hooded man in Abysmal Grief is Lord Alastarir, and he doesn't need to hide his name to improve his attractiveness, as some trendy posers...
I’m not sure but it seems to me that once Mario “The Black” Di Donato took part helping you with record of some song – does my brain betray me or is it a real fact?
You're true, my friend. He was appearing as special guest preacher in a song of our first album. It was suggested us from the guys of Black Widow Rec, and I immediately loved the idea. And he was very friendly and honoured to appear in our album, as we opened one of his concerts here in Genova many years before, and we were in touch. I'm still very honoured of that appearence.
I’ve seen one of live videos of Abysmal Grief and I just wonder – Labes looks bloody respectable on the stage! You know – that suit and tie… I have three assumptions: he works in government; he works in morgue; he works in mafia. Which one is closer to the truth? :-)
Hehe, well, I'm sure he would be much more proud to work in a morgue than in government or mafia (which are the same thing here in Italy!!!). Anyway we try to be very respectable on stage, and in our normal daily life we're not so much different from what you perceive on our shows, even if we don't wear the same clothes, of course....
Well, I wouldn’t like to torture you with questions about your and Labes real occupation, let us keep that in secret or at least we’ll try to reveal it our next interview ;-) And as it’s too early to asking about future album of Abysmal Grief let us finish this interview – thanks for your time and patience Regen! Good luck!
I think there are some aspects that should be kept hidden, and not everyone is so curious to know so deeply about us, I think. Anyway we wouldn't reveal too much. So about our future works, even if I can tell you that we're already working on new songs... Anyway, I thank you for this interview, and I wish you good and satisfying nightmares. In Death. R.G.
Interview By Aleks
I truly believe that you would remember our interview with Icelandic doom band Völva, of course you do! There are three guys who released a great DIY self-titled record in 2010 and one of main features - besides cold and bloody fresh doom metal - was the fact that each of them played a different role recording songs. Drummer could beat his drums on one song and be a guitar player and vocalist on another, as a guitarist could growl or be a drummer on another track, therefore Völva had a very diverse yet monolithic sound. Here comes first big news since that time: Völva releases split-album with atmospheric band Hindurvættir. Did you ever heard of them? Well, I guess the answer is “no”. Then welcome Ingi Jóhann, he sings and plays guitars, bass and drums in Völva and play bass in Hindurvættir too. Feel the breath of Northern Dawn! Taste the grimness of Polar Night!! (hah, as if we’re talking about some black metal stuff, right?)
I’m all right could be better but i could be worse. But I will try to answer all of your questions in the best way that I can.
First of all let us clarify one thing about the new release – what do we have now? Is it a split-album of Völva and Hindurvættir or is it two different Eps from both bands? I remember that you told about split-vinyl but right now I’m looking onto two different art-works on facebook pages of your bands.
When we were recording our new album, the one that will be released with Hindurvættir, we had another band in mind, Olde Growth from Boston, USA. They came to us looking for a band to make a split with and we liked the idea but their label didn't want to produce a band that was not under them. We had been writing and recording these songs for a while and when Olde Growth made contact with us and bailed it slowed the process down partly because we were unable to find anyone willing to make the split happen so now we have been sitting on this material for over a year. Finally we made the decision along with Hindurvættir which is a band including me and the current drummer of Völva.
Once we did an interview with you of Völva totally concentrating onto it’s un-ordinary doom band, but Hindurvættir is a new name for me. Please introduce the band to our readers.
Hindurvættir were formed in late 2011 by all three members. Like Völva, Hindurvættir have a lot of variety because the guitarist, Benedikt Natanael, has a strong black/death metal background. He is also the frontman for the black metal band Azoic. I play bass and I have the doom element from being a member of Völva. Jón Haukur, the drummer has brought a lot of groove into our music. We have been trying to capture the true atmosphere of Icelanders and their bitter love of their country. I will discuss this later on. We have worked together for over a year now and we have mixed these elements together and this half of the split is the first outcome.
Yeah we don´t have the black metal sound and not the agony that follows the black metal scene, but what we are taking from the black metal genre is in some form of atmosphere, we want to get the honesty that follows good black metal, the feeling and the atmo. Those are the things that we think are important. If the both methods have good atmo it doesn't matter which one you choose.
Does Hindurvættir have other records besides that split-album?
No this is the first release of Hindurvættir but we are working on an album that will most likely be heavier and colder than Hrímland.
What is current state of both bands after finally having this release?
The split has already been published online but the preparation for the vinyl pressing is still ongoing. We are trying our best to fund our project. The reason we published online was to gain some attention again since we had not published anything for almost 3 years.
You released first Völva full-length onto your self-made label MBS Skifur, but now you have entire vinyl edition. Did you finally find a proper label for your music?
We decided to publish the album ourselves and perhaps later we will re-publish, like we are considering to re-publish our first album, re-mastered.
We recorded, mixed and mastered everything ourselves in our so called Hole. We still change instruments and to put it simply I will tell you who plays what in each song. There were four of us: Hrólfur, Ingi, Áki and Tryggvi.
Skammdegi: Guitar: Hrólfur and Ingi; Bass: Tryggvi; Drums: Áki; Vocals: Áki, Hrólfur and Ingi.
Vísdómur risans: Guitar: Hrólfur; Bass and vocals: Áki; Drums: Ingi.
Sónn: Guitar: Áki and Ingi; Bass: Hrólfur; Drums: Tryggvi; Vocals: Áki, Hrólfur and Ingi.
And do you work in same way with Hindurvættir?
No not at all. In Hindurvættir we all have our part in keeping the flow and we have such different playing style that if we would change instruments we would get a totally different band. So it is much easier to take it the old fashion way, so everyone has a settled role to follow.
Both bands have lyrics written into your natural language, so I would like to ask you to comment topics of new songs.
Icelandic is the language of literature and Icelandic poetry thrives on symbolism and it's really hard to translate these images and words into English in a proper way. I will try though..
The lyrics of Skammdegi is written according to strict and old Icelandic traditions. In short it is about the seemingly eternal winter of Iceland.
Vísdómur Risans (Wisdom of the giant) Is a criticism on politics. The answer lies in the name.
Sónn: Our world was a concrete piece but now it is a shattered goo which can't be fixed. It's like a puzzle where none of the pieces fit. The Hindurvættir side of the split is a solid unit where the lyrics are written together as a single piece, all the parts are about the same thing. The title Hrímland is an old word for Iceland and the piece is about how beautiful, yet scary and cruel Hrímland can be. Most people outside of Iceland look at the country as something peaceful and beautiful but don´t realize the dark history of Iceland. Most people look at Icelanders as some strong vikings (berserks). But Icelandic Viking age collapsed around 1300-1400. We were stuck on this little island with nothing but our poetry. Icelanders lived in houses that were dug in the ground made of mud. It wasn't until 1930 that most Icelanders moved out of there holes. The idea of the never ending winter is something that has always followed us though we live in one of the best static country in the world. But the main concept of the lyric is how beautiful and magnificent Iceland is but on the same time cold and dangerous and the lyrics of Hrímland describe Iceland as a woman that is waiting for the winter that comes and goes. But when he is gone she feels deserted.
We have a lot of ideas and some fully written song, but we are still working to fit everything together and it is expected that our next album will be more solid pice then our depute and Vísdómur Risans.
Good, just don’t forget to let me know when you’ll have it mate! Send my best regards to your band’s mates, hope you’ll survive eternal Icelandic winter!
Thanks for the interview and thanks for reading and if you are interested in purchasing some of our material you can stay in touch through facebook for more info for the release and where you can find it. We will try our best to thrive through the winter darkness and staying sane until the sun rises again.
Interview By Aleks
Volva | Facebook
Volva | Bandcamp
Hindurvaettir | Facebook
Hindurvaettir | Bandcamp
Soggy Bog - The latest Soggy Bog Podcast, episode 117, is now available on the podcast page and this week features 2 interviews, the first with Olly from Moss and the second with Chris from Magic Circle, there’s also new tracks from Moss, Nixa, Shinin’ Shade, Cauchemar, Salems Pot with the rest of the playlist being taken up by Chains, Bismuth, King Goat, E-MusikGruppe Lux Ohr, Mehrunes Dagon & Pilgrimige.
Please welcome new writer Vaibhav Jain to Doommantia.Com.
The first band I was asked to review by Ed was the self titled EP released by a band that goes by the name of ‘Boudain’ which is a four piece out of Monroe, Louisiana. I sadly cannot give you much more information about the band, since nothing more is available on their facebook or bandcamp page. The music that ‘Boudain’ plays encompasses the inordinately copious riffs of early ‘Acid Bath’, the sense of groove of stoner bands like ‘Spiritual Beggars’ and an aura that reeks of the all out surge of extremely well channeled grit which was the core aesthetic characteristic of a certain ‘Kyuss’ showing the greatest proclivity towards the classic ‘When the Kite String Pops’ by ‘Acid Bath’ as can be witnessed in the oppressively down-tuned guitars as well as the song structures. As both the band name and artwork encapsulate within itself the thick meaty music that awaits the next lucky victim one has to admire the vocals which reminiscent of ‘Dax Riggs’ doesn't hold back its hostility and are spewed forth with such bile that they add a great deal of character and seem a perfect fit with the maddened gargantuan sludgy riffs.
‘Boudain’ released this debut after almost 7 years of its formation which took place back in 2006 and with the frequent tempo and mood changes, though the element of heaviness being a constant throughout , the band has released some really dynamic and powerful stuff that leaves you wanting more. An extremely boisterous and fresh release, keep your eyes of this foursome here, who release their debut on the 20th of April later this year....8/10.
Written by : Vaibhav Jain
Facebook - HERE
Bandcamp - HERE
Alpha WolfHunters conducted an interview with Swedish doom metal veterans CANDLEMASS at this year's Hammerfest, which was held March 13-16 at Hafan y Mor Holiday Park, Caernarfonshire and Merionethshire, Wales. You can now watch the chat below.
CANDLEMASS played its first show with singer Mats Levén on June 5, 2012 at Debaser Slussen in Stockholm, Sweden.
Levén is a former member of YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, THERION and TREAT, who also plays with CANDLEMASS bassist/mainman Leif Edling in KRUX.
Also joining the group for CANDLEMASS' recent live performances was keyboard player Per Wiberg (OPETH, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS).
CANDLEMASS in June 2012 parted ways singer Robert Lowe. The band stated at the time that this was "a very difficult decision" to make and had "mainly to do with the quality of the live performances."
Lowe — who is still a member of SOLITUDE AETERNUS — joined CANDLEMASS in January 2007 and sang on the band's last three studio albums: "King Of The Grey Islands" (2007), "Death Magic Doom" (2009) and "Psalms For The Dead" (2012).
CANDLEMASS released its 11th and final album, "Psalms For The Dead", on June 8, 2012 via Napalm Records. A limited-edition seven-inch vinyl single contaning two album tracks —"Dancing In The Temple Of The Mad Queen Bee" and "The Killing Of The Sun" — preceded the full-length effort on April 13, 2012.
The New Noise. Dealing with the release accounted for here with more than one head has been a great help.
Hell Comes Home is a particular label that started its activity as a subscription club dealing with top-quality periodical releases devoted to underground heavy music. The first serial release for this Irish label was the Volume 1 Box Set 2012, a monumental collection of 12 7” vinyl splits that kept metallers busy for a good part of year 2012. The twelve vinyl splits were published in pairs evry month between March and August 2012. The subscription to the series also included a limited edition deluxe box and a t-shirt as a bonus. The subscription as such ended during Fall 2012, although the vinyl splits can still be purchased both as separate items or as deluxe box set. This “solid” and super-smart collection of vinyls is also coupled with the high-quality digital version of each split.ishas been devoted to genres like sludge, doom, noise, black/death metal, hardcore and their varialbly eclectic reworkings and mutual contaminations. The musical features of the collection found a very effective mirror in the finest and aggressively “solid” artworks decorating the whole package. This first mammoth release involved both cult as well as emerging bands coming from across oceans and lands, and from both northern and southern hemispheres. The “chemistry” of the twelve different bands involved were combined to get the following releases (in temporal order):
2) Suma / Ultraphallus
3) Dephosphorus / Great Falls
4) Akaname / Lesbian’s Fungal Abyss
5) Pyramido / Union Of Sleep
6) Burning Love / Fight Amp
7) Coffinworm / Fistula
8) The Swan King / Tellusian
9) Dukatalon / Rites
10) Black Sun / Throat
11) Dopefight / The Fucking Wrath
12) Dead Elephant / Rabbits
I (Mari), Michele and Fabrizio, we did listen to all of them and religiously took notes of our impressions. Then we decided to have a chat not with the bands (too many!) but with Joel, the man behind this label Hell Comes Home and its incredible debut. We were curious to know what there is behind such particular approach to the musical business that seems to have given and give satisfactions to everybody: to the founder, to the graphic artist, to the bands and, not least, to the fans of heavy, noisy and multifaceted music good to be listened to as well as touched.
Words: Marilena Moroni plus Michele Giorgi and Fabrizio Garau (The New Noise)
Hell Comes Home Official Website
Hell Comes Home | Facebook
Hell Comes Home | Bandcamp
KOWLOON WALLED CITY / THOU (HCH 01)
Two US bands have the honour of opening this impressive vinyl split series partly devoted to the multifaceted aspects of sludge/doom metal. The first split involves Kowloon Walled City, from California, and Thou, from the very cradle of sludge metal, Baton Rouge, deep Southern Louisiana. Their split comprises two cover tracks related by a word, “July” and by a rather surprising style, if one considers the original sound of the bands. Kowloon Walled City rework the intimacy of track “July” by Low, seminal US slowcore band. The song “July” is from Low’s 2001 album Things we Lost in the Fire, although Low made their debut between 1993 and 1994. And 1994 is the year of the release of Soundgarden’s Superunknown album, which includes the song "4th of July". This is the track covered by Thou. For their own version of “July” Kowloon Walled City enrolled the seductive and slightly tormented voice of a lady singer called Lisa Papineau and then they turned the somber and meditative melody of the original version into a sludge-grunge ballad. However in spite of the distortion of the guitars, the use of aggressive riffs, the thundering drumming and the rather plodding and dynamic rhythm, the band is able to retain much of the original intimacy and even further enhance it with passion, like in the best and most involving grunge ballads.
On their side Thou rework and extend Soundgarden’s ballad “4th of July”, a luscious and dark song lead by a raw sound and slow rhythms, ideal for a sludge-doom revamped version. Fuzz and maximum distortion rule in the monolithic riffs building up the leading melody which is raw and almost menacing as well as drenched with hot burning blues. The blues vibes get to their utmost when the buzzing guitars start howling desperately while trying to emerge from the feedback. The band was able to be faithful to both the spirit and the original sounds of Soundgarden’s track. Even the vocal parts are clean, although the addition of a further personal touch, i.e. the introduction of a second, evil and banshee-like voice of singer Bryan Funck, is a cool surprise indeed!
SUMA / ULTRAPHALLUS (HCH 02)
Ultraphallus are an experimental sludge-doom band from Belgium and are well known to those who follow the label Riot Season (Sowberry Hagan was released by the British label in 2011, with a special guest, Eugene Robinson from Oxbow). The Swedish band Suma are not on the roster of Riot Season but they would fit perfectly …Suma opens this second split with “Geisteskrank”, a devastating surge of hypnotic drony, noisy metal possessing the filth of sludge, the distorted pounding heaviness of doom but lead by the crushing power of a storm, huge, slow and tremendously fast at the same time. Vocals are scarily gurgling while being overwhelmed by the waves of noise. With track “Young Bones” Ultraphallus are less deadly aggressive than Suma but they adopt the same repetitive rhythmic style for the leading riffing and build up a further infectious dose of very heavy, dull, dynamic, hypnotic noise-rock that will end too early. This is a split that you’ll slam on your turntable for life, easily …
DEPHOSPHORUS / GREAT FALLS (HCH 03)
The young Greek band Dephosphorus are trying to see what happens in blending black metal, death metal, post-metal, grind and something else, as one can learn from their own definition of their style, “astrogrind” as well as deduce from their acclaimed production. The amazing track “Stargazing and Violence” starts with a suffocating vortex of unrelenting death metal riffs and strained screams and periodically giving way to “swinging” black metal contaminated by post-metal dissonance and surprising ambience via the insertion of clean vocals. Great Falls follow with their load of equally claustrophobic, “angular” and strongly dissonant noise aggression in “Everything But Lightning”. Great Falls come from the “grunge city” Seattle and once they were called Hemingway. They sound almost glacial or maybe too “mechanical” compared to the Greek hellish death metal magma, although the final sense of alienation induced in the listener might be comparable.
AKANAME / LESBIAN'S FUNGAL ABYSS (HCH 04)
The fourth split is completely instrumental and comprises two tracks with a contrasting style but done by bands and musicians sharing a technical, progressive approach to heavy music. Akaname were new to me (Mari) until I heard this split. They are a technical progressive death metal band from New Zealand. In the split Akaname stick to their style and involve a special guest, drummer Jamie Saint Merat from Ulcerate (I knew this one, though!). They open with track Rain Will Be The New Gold. This 6 minute-long ballad is very atmospheric in its long prog/post-metal intro. However tension rises rapidly and strongly when the band enter their massive, contorted, technical and often divergent riffs, adopt crazy tempo changes and move rapidly across post-metal, prog and sincopated technical death metal. Lesbian, the roaring progressive/psych doom-sludge metal band from the US West Coast, take part to this split as a parallel project, Lesbian’s Fungal Abyss. This is more oriented towards improvisations across ambient psychedelics and desert rock vibrations “chemically” inspired by hallucinogenic mushrooms (Teonanacatl). Their track, Humongous Fungus, is surprising for its pairing with the previous nervous and intricate sounds. But here the contrast and the refreshing effect of the Fungal Abyss seem to be the winning key. Humongous Fungus seems to have neither proper start nor a well defined end: it raises from the silence and before plunging back into silence again, it will wind out slowly, almost floating. This track is light and airy but it possesses a variety of sonic shades including some “material” flashes of distorted fuzzy, post-metal dissonance reminding of bands such as Yawning Sons and Hotel Wrecking City Traders. Balming.
PYRAMIDO / UNION OF SLEEP (HCH 005)
The fifth split involves two recent European bands that are well known to the frequent visitors and fans of blogs and labels devoted to the diffusion of sludge-doom. Pyramido are a sort of anomaly, one of the rare Swedish bands playing bleak and tortured sludge-doom like the one played on the other side of the ocean. In their album “Sand and Salt”, sand and salt had to be rubbed on open wounds in skin burned by the sun … However in the almost 6 minutes of track Cleansed the Pyramido guys will surprise you because they abandoned any trace of swampy groove, if they had any, and they sort of “go back” to Scandinavia. They build up an ode to pain and desperation, an extremely slow, solemn hymn of intense, almost epic funeral doom in the vein of Thergothon or Skepticism.
Union of Sleep, from Germany, play heavy, aggressive and groovy by mixing monolithic and distorted sludge-doom riffing with the cheeky effrontery of southern and stoner metal and the fury of hardcore, a bit like Black Tusk/Kylesa/Buzzoven. After their recent, devastating split with Black Sleep of Kali, Union of Sleep hammer it down again: they know how to hit hard! After the grim and depressive atmospheres introduced by Pyramido, the Germans unleash “Crawl”. In spite of the title, this track is a frenzied and raw crust d-beat/ death'n'roll charge that will sprain your neck. Fast and sincopated riffs are shot by guitar chords that seem to be thick as whip chords and the vocal parts are raw and roaring to the limit with growl. But here as well we have a surprise, a core made of pristine, sinister, mammoth doom introduced by a sharp slow-down, a pause to recover before the last surge of fury …
BURNING LOVE / FIGHT AMP (HCH 6)
The sixth split involves two substantial international names, Canadian, Toronto-based hardcore bunch Burning Love and the US noise rockers Fight Amp, from New Jersey, a pairing for a dose of high octane raaaawk! Similar attitude and coolness, similar pleasure in mixing styles in their powerful sounds but different moods. And so your mood as well will make you fall for either band. Let’s say that it is as if the bully of the school and the drug addict menacing you with a syringe at your throat are placed together in the same place: such pairing will greatly, let’s say, “diminish” the boy … In their track “The Body” Burning Love basically play rock even if it involves a blend of styles which is surprising for the homogeneity of its result. In some instances The Body might even stay on Songs For The Deaf, refreshing acid noisy, fast desert rock ... But if you are into the fighting, twisted or pessimist mood, well, your heart is going to beat for the dissonant punk aggression emanating from “Shallow Grave” by Fight Amp. These guys got this track from Birth Control, out via Translation Loss during 2012.
COFFINWORM / FISTULA (HCH 07)
What a pairing the one of the seventh split … Coffinworm come first. This young US band had left deep scars into the skin of the many who loved their debut album, mighty Great Bringer of Night, recently re-mastered for a vinyl version.
In this split with sludge monsters Fistula, Coffinworm will duly grab your sould and body with their bleak, dark, violent sound, a mixture of black-death metal and sludge-doom made of oppressive, sick and violently misanthropic passages.
The leading rhythm of track “Instant Death Syndrome” is actually plodding and hooking like in some tracks by Tulus, but the atmosphere is corrosive and blistering like vapours of boiling hot, molten tar. Moreover D’s roars will break your bones. A few more minutes of this nightmare would have been a healthy addition to the barely 5 minutes of this track. But Instant Death Syndrome easily goes into loop. The same happens with the following, monster track, Fistula’s “Drugs and Deception”. Fistula bring us back to a human dimension made of deceivement, decay and bitterness for survival by means of their raw and rotten sludge metal which is so achingly drenched of orgasmic groove. You’ve got their typical waves of viscous and dark sonic filth but after two minutes a surge of massive riffs of blazing southern/doom metal by mighty Corey Bing and Bahb Branca’s roars will knock you down until the end of the almost 7 minutes of this neck-breaking masterpiece.
THE SWAN KING / TELLUSIAN (HCH 08)
You’ll get a distinct southern flavour from track “Between the Lines” opening the eighth split between the US heavy metallers The Swan King and the Swedish grindcore act Tellusian. The Swan King will hook you with their slack and distorted, riff-laden boogie metal reminding of a strange hybrid of Black Sabbath and Molly Hatchet possessing a spacey mood. “Between the Lines” is a cool, heartful song with a growing intensity and a choir that will entice those who love the robust southern sounds and like the taste of dust and soil reddened by the sun. And these guys will surprise you also for their charming heavy psych incursion during the instrumental outro. But life can’t be always easygoing! Some alienating feedback announces Tellusian and their disturbing track “The Coldest of Seasons”. One track is surely too little space for understanding and adequately unfolding the weight and the full potentials of a band. However Tellusian are able to capture attention and interest with their weird hybrid grindcore style incorporating different influences and developing according to crazy tempos. A pronounced passion for math drifts and a hint of avantgarde attitude in their general mood, a sort of original and clever collision between different languages further make Tellusian a band well worth exploring further.
DUKATALON / RITES (HCH 09)
The ninth split of the series is opened by Dukatalon. This young Israeli heavy band is able to evoke a sound assembled by the most rotten anything conceivable, be it crust, early black metal or the filthiest sludge metal, and then throw all this against the listener as if it were a ball of burning pitch. "Mainline" will develop like a slow-motion psychedelic explosion lead by nasty raspy vocals and an awesome bass line gradually slowing down, or drowning into and getting splintered by an orgy of distortion and effects. On the other side the local heroes Rites, from Galway (Ireland), show off a bold and robust attitude where genuine heavy and fuzzy doom gets powered by a generous smear of noise and dissonance. The impact of this contaminated style is apparent in the high tension, the aggression of the riffs and the rapid tempo changes heard in the infectious track “Barren”, where you can be dragged from the heat of the desert to the frost of a starless night in a twinkling of an eye.
BLACK SUN / THROAT (HCH 10)
Black Sun open this split with “Crawling Like A Leech”, an impacting track which is somehow dynamic in its slow and heavy development. Unfortunately it will die out after about five minutes only leaving a bitter taste in the listener, and the fan … Black Sun are a Scottish trio that have been delivering mammoth heavy, bleak and crushing music for several years by now. This hard-hitting song is faithful to the line and offers a load of the band’s clever mix of sludge, doom, noise and post-metal/experimental dissonances where rigid heaviness is favoured instead of groove or ethereal atmospheres. In Crawling Like A Leech a dose of dynamics seems to derive from the almost matial plodding rhythms of the leading riff and, above all, from the powerful, Maori Haka-sounding interaction between the two vocalists, the drummer and the guitarist. The Finnish noise rockers Throat provide a load of raw, contaminated and frenzied music through their track “Anal Paranoid”. This 3 and a half minute-long song delivers a highly rewarding load of noise-sludge rock lead by a fiercely pumping bass and by rageful singing and drumming styles. Throat’s sounds are filthy in their sludge distortions, are nervous in their often syncopated rhythms, and deviated by dissonance, and yet drenched in infectious groove so much recalling killer bands like Unsane.
DOPEFIGHT / THE FUCKING WRATH (HCH 11)
Pure Sabbathian-rooted doom is what Dopefight inject in the first part of track “Stonk”, although these stoned ceremony masters will soon steer towards a sound drenched with punkish contaminations and anthemic drive hardly hold back by the retro-sounding mantra where it is confined. This British band, sadly split up now, deliver a strange hybrid beast where two big “Black” of the extreme music scene coexist: the first ones are quoted above, and the second ones are obviously Black Flag. What makes this split a perfect meeting point between the doom and hardcore scenes is the contribution of US band The Fucking Wrath. These guys show their strong links with the California HC scene via the urticating energy exhaling right from the very title of their track, “Ronald Reagan Punk Party” and the weird intro with Ronald Reagan’s voice promoting drugs. As expected, surges of muscular riffs, robust distortions and tempo changes build up a heavy ride like those heard in and enjoyed from the other releases by these wild guys.
DEAD ELEPHANT / RABBITS (HCH 12)
As soon as Dead Elephant enter into action with heir “Carne De Perro”, it is clear that their split fellows, Rabbits, will have to work hard! The Italian post-hardcore trio play according to their own personal rhythm making them difficult to be confined into rigid genre classification schemes. Everything seems to collide and mix up into a sound maelstrom devouring and splintering languages and styles with impressive energy and ease at the same time. So it comes almost as natural to eventually hear the chaotic storm sharply giving way to a long and alienating, atmospheric tail. Rabbits have the honour and burden of closing the split as well as the entire collection. This US noise-punk-thrash metal trio from Portland (Oregon) is the ideal mate for what came before. With their strained screams and clanging sounds in “War, Oh My”, these guys are able to transmute the starting sound into an alien beast out of control. The sounds, and your breath, will become more and more gasping, rhythms, and your heart, will first speed up and then slow down. All will sum up into a sonic delirium eventually accompanying the listener towards the end, into silence.
And this time silence means: End of Transmissions … at least until one decides to go back and repeat the experience again and again …
THE INTERVIEW TO JOEL
(Questions by Mari, Michele and Fabrizio – Interviewer: Mari)
MARI – Hello Joel, thanks for accepting the interview and letting us know a bit more about this great experience and about how things go “on the other side of the barricade”!
Hell Comes Home is an emerging label. And the debut project is a substantial and quite complicated one as it involved so many different bands. How and when did you get this “crazy” and bold idea of starting the activity in your label with such an impressive project? Was this your first experience in this activity or do you come from the scene, as musician, producer, etc.?
JOEL - I'm from Switzerland, and when a few years ago I moved to Ireland, I found myself with a lot of free time and started playing around with the idea of getting a new project going. I love 7" vinyl - I discovered so many bands over the years by buying random 7". I also didn't want to "sign" bands and I wanted this to be an hassle free one-off project that could lead to other stuff if I felt like it. I wanted to try my hand at something different than just picking a band and releasing their album, or an EP. My previous experience running a label was very formative but quite frustrating in the way it operated. I needed to do things differently, at least from my perspective, and this project seemed to be the perfect opportunity to do so.
I'm definitely not new to the scene. I have played in bands, organized shows, published a fanzine, managed a record label previous to HCH…
MARI - What guided you in the selection of the bands to be contacted and how did you decide about pairings?
JOEL - I wrote down a list of bands I like and listen to that I wanted to include in the project. I then contacted each and everyone of them, got some yes, got some no's (but not that many, to be fair). That was the first round. Then I took advice from bands I was talking to. As an example, Roderic from Knut recommended I check out Dephosphorus, Ryan from Unearthly Trance suggested to do the split with Coffinworm, and Coffinworm then suggested to do the split with Fistula when Unearthly Trance called it a day. Thou had a list of bands they wanted to do a split with. I also suggested bands other bands they could share the record with, but I think with most of the splits someone said "hey, it'd be cool to do the split with this or this band". I then tried my best to keep everyone happy, myself included.
MARI - Did you have a well defined scheme in mind, or at least a fairly constrained range for your project, since the beginning, as to genres and styles to be involved? And how long did you take to complete this project into its solid form?
JOEL - From the start I knew what the music spectrum would be, basically a mix of hardcore, sludge, doom, noise, math metal, etc. I’m sure you get the idea - stuff I listen to. The difficulty was to get enough variety in sounds to keep things interesting, as well as a balanced mix of established bands and smaller more osbcure bands. I wanted this project to also be a way to make people discover new bands. You know, you like bands A and B so you might enjoy bands C & D, that kind of stuff.
I started contacting bands at the beginning of 2011, received all the songs by autumn 2011 and the first splits came out in March 2012. The box-set was complete and fully released in December 2012.
MARI - How has the project been received by the artists? Was it easy to convince the bands to take part to your project? And how did you interact with each other regarding the specific tracks?
JOEL - Very well, at least for those that I managed to get in touch with. Some bands declined because of time issues, but most were very enthusiastic about the idea. I’m actually quite surprised it wasn’t harder to get bands on board, which is cool. I asked bands for either a new and exclusive track (or at least an exclusive version) or an unreleased song. Original or a cover, that was up to them.
MARI - Was there any band that you would have loved to see included in your project and that refused to take part to it?
JOEL - The only one that I can think of is Red Fang, and I don’t remember exactly why it was a no. Nothing dramatic, but it’s a shame I would a have loved to have them take part. Some bands never got back to me, but that doesn’t count… or matter. I was very well aware that I wouldn’t be able to get the bands that I had written down when I did my first list. But you have to start somewhere.
MARI - Did you decide the number of bands to be involved and the number of splits to be released or was everything decided actually only after the evaluation of the contributions?
JOEL - Yes, the whole concept was decided before I started picking bands. I knew it was going to be 12 splits 7” available as a subscription, one song/band per side, with 2 new records shipped every month, a box and a t-shirt. I then tried to make reality fit my vision, which is a different story!
MARI - You started your activity by producing releases in deluxe package and involving underground and, for some people also obscure bands. Someone might say you are a crazy man that loves to risk a lot and throw money away. However there are a few underground labels that have been doing some important serial releases as of late. One case is Utech Records, another one is Gogmagogical Records (even if the approach was different). Do you know any of these labels, or better, were you inspired by the activity of other labels?
JOEL - Life’s short, so why not enjoy it by doing what you want to do. And that’s pretty much what I did. Of course, I still haven’t recouped my investment, but I don’t care. I mean, you can always find a reason not to do something, but that’s boring…
Neither Utech or Gogmagogical were an inspiration to do this, although I’m familiar with Utech. I like their visual esthetic and they have an impressive catalogue. The idea was to create some sort of a subscription club - a combination of the Sub Pop Single Club and the “Cry Now, Cry Later” series of compilations released by Pessimiser.
MARI - Designer and musician Kuba Sokólski, from Warsaw, Poland, is in charge of the smart artistic aspect of the split project as well as of the label’s website, so far. How did the theme of the crawling prehistoric-looking insects/ beasts come out for the split? Who got the idea? Was this theme related to the single project or is this artistic feature actually representing the interests of the label in a wider sense? And will other artists be involved in future releases/projects?
JOEL - When I asked Kuba to do the artwork, the only guidelines I remember giving him, was that I wanted a unifying theme, same colours, etc. for all the splits. He is the one who came up with the insects idea. I think the final result is amazing. It really gives the series a strong visual identity and that’s exactly what I wanted. I was lucky to collaborate with Kuba, he has done an amazing job.
I always envisioned the label as the medium to bring together visual art and audio that I like. See, when you invest a lot of time and money into a project of this scale, you want to make sure that it’s worth it. I couldn’t bring myself to release great music with mediocre artwork, I think it defeats the purpose of owning a physical copy. To me the quality of the packaging shows how much you care about the music that is included. When you have poured a lot of energy into something you don’t want to come up with an half-assed final result. It’s a waste of time. I hope I will be able to keep up with this ideal for future projects, and yes I will definitely work with more artists in the future.
MARI - This split project is a quite particular one, and smart one as well. How do you imagine the listener, or better the purchaser of this underground yet deluxe release? Did you get satisfactory responses? Did your expectations for the project go well after several months from the release of the last bit of the split series (second half of 2012)?
JOEL - Thanks! My best guess is that the purchasers are diehard fans of heavy music who like the vinyl experience. My only criteria when putting it together was, would I like this ? would I be interested in it ? would I buy it ? In a time when everyone has a new favorite band every split second, I admire and respect anyone who is willing to purchase 2 hours of music released on 7” – that‘s courage and commitment! I didn’t expect much, but I have to say that it’s really cool when someone emails you to tell you how much they like the box-set, and they ask you when there will be another one. So, so far all the feedback I got was positive. At the same time, if you don’t click with idea you aren’t going to buy the box-set… Since I’m operating with a non-existing advertising and marketing budget there was no big coverage in medias. Word is spreading very slowly, but it somehow keeps spreading and sales have been constant for a year now. Hopefully this will last until every record has found a new loving and caring home.
MARI - And what is your opinion about the issue between solid/analogic music and digital music? Several labels or bands by now release analogic-only music (vinyls and/or tapes) and, as purists, they do not add any download codes. You decided to pair solid music items and digital version. Was it a good move?
JOEL - I don’t have a problem with digital music. It is what is. It’s a choice. I personally like to have digital files (lossless) of the music I own, so I can bring it wherever I go. The vinyl experience is different and I love it, but to me it doesn’t mean that I have to make a choice, either digital or analog. I’m happy to have both. I paired digital downloads with the vinyl because I wanted to give people the choice to listen to the records on their own terms, how they want and where they want. However I have problem with poor quality Mp3’s. Thank god storage capacity are constantly increasing as well as broadband capacities, so hopefully some day soon lossless digital files will become the norm.
MARI - Do you think that there are genres or scenes that are more keen on, or are in particular need of having in hand or offering a “solid piece of music”?
JOEL - I wouldn’t be able to tell you. I know vinyl has always been a big thing within hardcore/punk, and the independent music scene in general and I don’t think it has changed much. That’s where I come from. I guess everyone relates to music differently, but for me the physical is definitely an extension of the audio and I like the idea. I love browsing records. It feels real. It is real. On the other hand you can’t hold mp3 files.
MARI - This set of splits is officially addressed as “Volume I”. So are you actually planning any follow-up for this project for your label in a near future? Or are you planning a different project inbetween? If so, will there be any other similar, wide-range and deluxe, vinyl-only release like this to be expected or will your label also work as a normal label dealing with single bands as well and releasing also standard CDs?
JOEL - The next release will be a new album by Great Falls (on vinyl). After that I’d like to start working on a second volume of the splits 7” series box-set, which could take forever. I don’t really plan on releasing CDs, but I’m not saying that I won’t either. For the future, I really hope to be able to focus on quality kick ass deluxe vinyl releases, with music and artwork that stands the test of time.
MARI – Many thanks for the rich answers and the great music!
JOEL – Thanks and enjoy!
There has been some minor positive developments: A slight reduction in the overall medical bill and I mean very slight, like 5%. The US government is so generous ain't they? The on-going monthly medical costs have been reduced also but still total over $1,000 a month but it is a start. A plan possible move to Canada was aborted when it was found out you have to live there for several months or more before any free medical help can be offered. The moving costs also proved to be way out of the range of anyone associated with this fine couple.
Now no electricity also means no internet so once again I have been placed back in charge but keep in mind, I only have access to the internet for a mere 2 hours a day usually so please don't expect a reply to a email unless it is vitally important that I do so. However keep in mind that all your mail will be read, albums will be listened to and you WON'T be ignored. Doommantia lives on but the man that normally steer this ship of doom will be out of action for some time. Thanks for reading and please donate using the Paypal donation button in the sidebar. It is at the top of the page, you can't miss it.
The line-up features some of the best old school metal bands from the country, spanning three decades. This just proves how Lemmy and company have influenced metal of various kinds, and how the band has made an impact on metal fans of all ages, whether you're still a young kid, or well into your 40s.
The album is scheduled for a summer 2013 release. This will be the label's third release since its inception in 2012, following old school stalwarts Kryptos' third album 'The Coils of Apollyon' in February 2012, and the doom bastards Bevar Sea's self-titled album in October.
Millennium - Iron Fist
Witchgoat - Death Or Glory
Albatross - God Was Never On Your Side
Dying Embrace - Deaf Forever
Mortar - I am the Sword
Bevar Sea - Turn You Round Again
Shepherd - Sacrifice
Solar Deity - Orgasmatron
Djinn & Miskatonic - I Don't Believe a Word
Dormant Inferno - The Game
1833 AD - Dead and Gone
Purgation - Terminal Show
So far two tracks have been revealed:
- Bevar Sea: HERE
- Albatross: HERE
Facebook page: HERE
Hi, guys! Who’s in touch today?
Hi, Aleksey! Konstantin, our leader, is going to answer your questions, and if required, Igor will help.
I’m not gonna surprise anyone (this is not the point), yet would expect you not to get bored too much while talking about your lineup.
To my mind, lineup formation matter is one of the toughest problems we had to face throughout our existence. The point is that here, in province (yes, we are from the truest province ever), it appears very difficult to find the person who would at least share our musical tastes, not speaking of playing something of the kind. The band idea was initiated by Maksim, our singer. He suggested me playing something in vein of all these canonic bands everybody knows of, and I agreed. By that time I had been enough experienced as guitar player in several local bands. Nobody thought this would turn into something consistent. As regards bass player, we were keeping Michael in mind, the guy we had dealt with a couple of times. He didn’t mind playing something bluesy and joined us through the first rehearsals. The band needed a drummer and the 2nd guitar player that far, as initial pieces were written with two guitars in mind. Yet we didn’t want to postpone playing because of drummer search and decided rehearsing with backing track. As for the second guitar player, things got even simpler. Igor, the guy from our company, as it turned out, played guitar from time to time. I gave him our workouts, and he liked them and started visiting rehearsals on regular basis. It is this lineup that we were playing in for a long period of time. From time to time we checked out local drummers, but didn’t hear what was expected from them. One day Dmitry came along, and soon he became our drummer. He liked what we were doing, but his participation in our band was constantly postponed due to various reasons. However, his coming got The Curse of Wendigo to its final form, and we started making music with full value.
What are main ideas (both musical and conceptual) you initially desired to express through The Curse of Wendigo? And how successfully were they realized in your first album?
Let’s start with music. Initially, when the band just started, we chose stoner doom with ethnic references to North American Indians. Throughout the process, hard rock, grunge and psychedelic elements appeared in our music, and we tried to combine all these into the whole in the most interesting way. As for the concept, our purpose was to fill all pieces and lyrics with associative picture of North America, its woods and atmosphere of Indian vision and world perception. Huge amount of our lyrics is referred to the theory of paleocontact and ancient cultures. Such pieces as Gloomy Friend and The Prodigal Son have more to do with personal stuff. Anyway, it’s up to listeners to decide how much we have succeeded therewith. Now we would do it much better, but, basically, we are satisfied with the result.
Probably yes – we hurried up a bit, but we based upon the tempo the stuff was being created with. Thus, we had tracks in the same vein which, in fact, were included into the album. But some pieces turned to be more into rock, both in terms of sound and structure. It is this direction we’d like to develop further, and, as a result, we needed to turn the initial stuff into the album format. Well, and declare about ourselves to the listeners. The whole stuff was recorded in one day. It was rather funny, considering the fact I was the only one experienced with studio work. I wrote most solos overnight, and some of them are still hard for me to play:)))) Many things were finished in course of mixing and mastering, some were recorded repeatedly.
Like it or not, the stuff shall be competitive to draw attention to the band. In case you don’t like such term, I would call it “attractive” – the point remains the same. So, what do you think The Curse of Wendigo is attractive with?
Surely, we fully agree with you. With such abundance of bands nowadays, even in such noncommercial genre as doom or stoner, you need to make the listeners interested with something unusual. Personally, I think doing the same for the hundredth time has no sense. Yes, genre limits are rather strict, but these can be spread. I would like to talk about our creative activity from the point of its quality. We are eager to have everything, from song structure and up to cover art, worked through as much as possible. Well, as much as our professional and material opportunities allow doing that. As for our being attractive to listeners, it’s – once again – not up to us.
There must be some response to the album, mustn’t it? By the way, how do you distribute it?
Basically, response is positive. No admiration burst of course, yet just as expected. We are brand new formation for listeners, and the fact we are just noticed is a good result. As we are not going to stop with what is already achieved, time will tell. The album is being spread via internet, and I think it’s pretty enough to start. The next release is gonna be physical. As for now, a few singles are hitting network soon.
Now a bit about “references to mythology of North American Indians”. Why not South American ones your colleagues from Ethereal Riffian love so much? Or our Aleutian shamans?
Well, once I got deeply impressed with Stephen King’s “Pet Cemetery” where references to Wendigo, Indian mythic spirit, can be traced. This is how mere interest developed into the whole style. Moreover, back then we were often listening to shamanic singing recorded in 60s of the last century. This also left certain mark upon our music. Actually, there’s no ideological basis here, the choice was unconscious.
You also mentioned you were inspired with “psychedelic movies”. So, what are the first titles in the list?
Under “psychedelic movies” we, first and foremost, mean films of 60s which appeared as response to liberalization in all spheres of public life. These can be basically characterized with occultism, free sexual relations, taking hallucinogenic substances, rock’n’roll etc. For example, I would point out “Easy Rider”, very kind movie about friendship and freedom, and we picked something from “Alice in Acidland” poster when creating our logo. Apart from that, we all love Jarmusch’s “Deadman”, especially for it soundtrack written by Neil Young. More radical stuff like “The Holy Mountain” or “El Topo” by Alejandro Jodorowsky is not alien to us either.
I don’t know if you like the following comparison, but when listening to your “The Prodigal Son”, I start keeping Gods Tower’s “Twilight Sun” in mind. So, you can express your love for Black Sabbath as it regards your music preferences.
The matter is that nobody in the band has ever listened to Gods Tower:) As for Black Sabbath, especially early works, yeah – surely, we love’em, as well as, say, Pentagram. Personally, I got interested with stoner/doom stuff thanks to them. Anyway, I’m not gonna list bands we got inspired with once – it would take long and get boring. And I don’t think their names would surprise anyone. I would only like to mention that our musical preferences are not limited with distorted styles, here you’ll find place for noise rock, blues and even electronics and pop stuff.
It seems early to make any conclusions, but anyway – how do you see your further development from the point The Curse of Wendigo is at now?
Now we are working hard about the new stuff trying to make it as much high-quality and worked through as possible. New pieces are more rocking, sometimes with blues sound. This time we record our songs gradually, with more responsible approach one might say:) In near future we plan shooting video for one of new pieces and start active gig activity.
Well, let’s try.
“Eclectic Tail” tells about how disrespectful and consuming our humanity is towards the world around. After all, we will get what we deserve, i.e., certain annihilation, and remains of our eclectic search will be just a trace on the Moon. Probably, it’s the toughest track to perform, though it wasn’t changed a lot when being written.
“Gloomy Friend” is about dark half of one’s personality which is always nearby.
“Endless Hunger” – actually myth about Wendigo, spirit of northern woods.
“The Prodigal Son” – our life changes continuously, and so do we. It’s impossible to get back. I think this track turned to be the most “laboured”. Unfortunately, some ideas once aimed for this track remained unrealized, this is why it is not appreciated a lot by band members.
“Fallen Treasures” is about knowledge given to us by the “gods” and changed for doubtful material values. It’s our favourite for sure.
Well, something like that. You see, it’s very hard to describe lyrics objectively, as everyone I think should see their own meaning through associations and imagination.
Then let’s wish our readers good luck when switching their imagination on to The Curse of Wendigo, and you – success with your development! Anything else for the readers?
Thanks for interesting questions! Thanks to all those already listening to us, we hope to make more and more people interested with our stuff. Looking forward to see you at our gigs!
Interview By Aleks
Russian version: Metal Library
The band is a power trio consisting of Fat Bastard on the kit, Gabriel Cortes handling the dual duties of lead guitarist and singer and Paulo Sandoval on bass guitar and released their debut self titled EP in the September of 2012. Lasting almost 3 minutes which have been spread of over 3 tracks this is some of the heaviest, with a capital H, of stoner music out there.
Annimal Machine play a highly aggressive form of music, almost flirting with the boundaries of modern thrash in all its violent glory at times, yet due to the down tuned fuzzy riffs and groove laden music encapsulated in this little dynamite of a release its roots always stay firmly rooted in the realm of inordinately corpulent stoner music. An aural assault of infectiously catchy hooks and riffs are only thrusted forward by the Gabriel Cortes’ vocal delivery which with its passion injected almost gruff delivery fits the bands’ emotion fueled output like a tailor made suit. As the band permeates an aura of being overly enthusiastic and Fat Bastard’s drumming acts as a testament to this, the band never in its mellowest or violent moments seem to lose control. Each riff, each guitar solo, each drum fill and each bass interlude has been thought of thoroughly and has been placed with immaculate precision to the point that it feels like the band has carefully foreseen the visceral impact of each on the listener.
Needless to say, progressive song structures are to be expected in this varied release. Never knowing what to expect the band successfully maintains that aura of an element of surprise that keeps the listener hooked throughout its entirety. Even because of the vast change in moods and atmospheres as well an aggressive intensity the band has managed to create a highly fluid release that flows seamlessly from swirling riffs to a highly heavy duty unrelenting surge of power to an extremely fist pumping, deliberating section that will floor any fan of stoner music. Annimal Machine knew exactly what they wanted when they set out releasing this, and with the brilliant use of the instruments and a highly talented display of musicianship has come up with a teaser of what can be a band whose view of the genre extends farther than what most bands in the genre see. If you’re looking for some highly fun, aggressive and adrenaline inducing rush of blood kind of music, you need to look as far as Mexico....8.5/10
Written by : Vaibhav Jain
Bandcamp - Bandcamp
Facebook - Facebook
Don from Serpent Throne has generously allowed us to stream ta new track from their new record, Brother Lucifer which is scheduled for April 29th on Prophase Records. This is the title track....it kicks ass....
HERE), so I discovered by myself that this Wendigo thing has nothing to do with the part of the world from where these musicians come. Wendigo, or Windigo, is a quite scary, horrific and blood-thirsty man-eating anthropomorphic monster from the Native North American Indian culture, a mythological figure that was reprised by a recent horror movie.
North American mythology and also movies are two of the declared loves and sources of inspiration for this quintet from Khartsyzk, in the Donetsk region, as shown by the mention of Clint Eastwood, surely another reference myth. We just have to add doom, desert rock, retro psychedelia and heavy blues. And we’ve got the essential elements for outlining The Curse of Wendigo. Maksim (on vocals/harmonica), Konstantin (on guitar/vocals), Igor (on guitar), Mikhail (on bass) and Dmitry (on drums) got together during 2011 and in late 2012 they released their substantial debut album Eclectic Tail via label Destroy The Humanity Studios. The album represents a charming and intense heavy psychedelic trip developed across 6 tracks for over 32 minutes. Apart from the short intro, the one that evokes Clint Eastwood via an achingly melancholic harmonica sound, the rest of the tracks are rather long and ranging between +4 and +8 minutes, actual ballads where the band guys are able to unfold their skill and potentials neatly.
The style of these lads is eclectic as indicated in the title of their album. These musicians surely love their heavy and viscous, muscular, groove-laden riffs that salute the listener right at the beginning of the album and dominate especially the shorter central tracks, Endless Hunger and The Prodigal Son. These are two powerful songs lead by a laid-back, genuine southern metal flavour. But in general these five guys like to nest their boiling hot riffs into a versatile psychedelic construction that makes this album charming indeed and full of surprises.
Desert rock, retro- to spacey, meditative psychedelia, and some escapes into ethereal post-metal are driven by reverbered guitars and effects, spiced up by the intriguing use of harmonica and of some traditional instruments, and backed up by powerful drumming and exotic percussions. All these different ingredients are skilfully and tastefully mixed and unfolded especially in the ballads Eclectic Tail, in the doomy Gloomy Friend and the truly remarkable Fallen Treasures. In the latter the influence of vintage doom and heavy psychedelia is probably stronger than elsewhere, although in all the tracks there is an invitation to meditation by means of trance-inducing drony melodies vibrating and echoing out like in an endlessly big open space. But not “any” big open space: the tunes, the sounds in the whole album depict a myth for most Euro rockers, an American wide open space and in the wild West, in the desert. So it was almost automatic for me to find similarities for these ethereal psychedelic intervals with what heard in bands like Blaak Heat Shujaa, among the younger bands, as well as Yawning Man, Naam, Hotel Wrecking City Traders, and so on.
These charming trance-inducing and meditative melodies have a somehow exotic hue and are coupled with ritual-like chanting by vocalist Maxim. In this band the vocal parts are actually some truly remarkable feature. Maxim is actually giving an impressive performance as his voice is like a chameleon. He can sing in a raucous tone like a whiskey-addicted rodeo boy in the southern metal-styled track Endless Hunger. Or else he can turn himself into an inspired, mournful shaman or even burst out with disturbing, dramatic tortured, or hysterically feverish vocals in the other tracks. In the beautiful closing track he interacts with guitars in a passionate evocation of pure heavy psych rock from the 70’s as if he were a wizard throwing magic powder into a ritual fire.
In conclusion album Eclectic Tail is a very encouraging, powerful debut album graced by a impressive quality of the sound production. The band did well in not limiting their effort into the narrow space of a debut EP but choosing to make a substantial release built up like a concept album and driven by a multifaceted yet consistent style.
I guess that we will enjoy more cool tunes from this band in a near future …
Words: Marilena Moroni
Dimensions of Sonic Excellence..
This blog, also known as Robust Fellow, is lead by bloggers and musicians well known to the blog community, especially the Swampers, i.e. PhillO))) and Stonezilla. The latter, Stonezilla, is a highly endowed rock graphical artist and is militating in the cool Ukrainian band The Ethereal Riffian. This blog has always and undoubtely had a soft spot for live music, so it came almost as automatic that these bloggers ended up being among the people who organized a cool international festival in Kiel back in 2011.
The making of that first edition of the festival had been documented by a series of videos posted on the blog. I had particularly enjoyed the videos that showed the enthusiastic efforts for turning an anonymous industrial-looking location into a cool site for rock gigs. The first edition was so successful that these folks were encouraged and able to organize a second edition, RobustFest Vol. II, that took place on September 8th 2013 in Kiel.
The RobustFest Vol. II had involved 9 bands from 6 countries and covering genres ranging from heavy psychedelia, krautrock, fuzzy stoner, southern heavy blues rock, drone, doom and sludge metal: Samsara Blues Experiment (Germany), Frogskin (Finland), Le Scimmie (Italy), Brand Band (Russia), Methadone Skies (Romania) Mozergush, Krobak and Johnny B Gut (Ukraine). Most of these bands played for the first time in Kiev, Ukraine and in Eastern Europe as well, a part of Europe populated by hordes of enthusiastic heavy music lovers and hosting an ever growing and much intriguing heavy scene.
Well, recently an announcement was done about the imminent release of the official DVD of the RobustFest Vol. II.
The DVD will include high quality sound and video footage. In particular it will host main videos for 2 tracks from each band in a great sound and video quality and including exclusive tunes from Mozergush and Frogskin that weren't released yet and never have played before.
- teasers & trailers
- unreleased sketches
- poster gallery
- merch gallery
- 2 ways to play DVD (Robustfellow storyline or by schedule)
The DVD will also have a Ltd. Edition coming with :
- a printed Comics Book
- an original festival's bracelet from 2011, 2012
- a special Robust sticker
Above I wrote “imminent release”. Well, the DVD is almost out. PhilllO))) & mates say: “We’ll do our best to release this as fast as we can. But be patient please. It will be ready when it's ready. 2013 is the date.”
Anyway these lads are very active.
So get or keep in touch with the guys on their cool blog for the DVD, first, and then for knowing about next edition of the RobustFest!
Check out the post about the DVD here
Robust Fellow Blogspot
Words: Marilena Moroni
This is death metal, but with a very doomy pace and somber aura. Death-doom would be a fitting description, but typical doomsters may be wary of the extreme raw growling vocals. I am reminded for the first two brilliant Paradise Lost albums when listening to this. The riffs are lumbering, the guitar sound thick and those vocals recall Nick Holmes at his most grinding. Also, Cerekloth sometimes put clean, minor-key guitar chords on top of the rumbling death, a technique which reminds me of the great Disembowelment, although I must take pains to say these guys are not quite into that realm.
The atmosphere is of marble tombs, grey fog and gnarled branches of dead trees. After hearing some "by the numbers" death metal from Necrocurse and Necrowretch, it's kind of refreshing to hear a band attempting a unique sound. There is some room for improvement, as riffs and songs tend to blur together, but I would say Cerekloth is a strong addition to the doom/death scene and the Danish metal scene overall.
Words: Dr. Mality
British doom legends CATHEDRAL will release their final studio album, "The Last Spire", on April 30 via Rise Above Records. Recorded at Orgone Studios in London, produced by Lee Dorrian and Garry Jennings with assistance, mixing by Jamie Gomez Arellano, and art by Dave Patchett and Arik Roper, "The Last Spire" will stand as the band's final effort.
CATHEDRAL recently filmed its final music video, "Tower Of Silence", which was inspired by classic cult British film institutions such as "Amicus" and "Hammer House of Horror". The clip was shot on location during the British Winter of 2012 at Gunnersbury Park Tower, London. It features a guest appearance from Purson's Rosalie Cunningham, who places a symbolic black orchid on the tombstone of each member in the clips closing scenes.
Directed by U.K.-based Paraffin City Productions, the "Tower Of Silence" clip can be viewed below.
01. Entrance To Hell
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 revolutionized doom metal, first pushing their influences into new avenues of grinding extremity, then pioneering groovier forms of '70s-indebted stoner doom.
Lee Dorrian says: "When the last mix was finally done, there was a massive sense of relief. I think this was partly due to the fact that it meant CATHEDRAL could finally be put to rest but also because we felt we'd done something that we were all very pleased with. I feel comfortable leaving 'The Last Spire' as our legacy." Dorrian continues, "The funeral of CATHEDRAL has been a long but gratifying process. Deciding to end the band wasn't an easy decision to make but we knew deep down in our hearts that it was the right thing to do."
"The Last Spire" was recorded by:
Lead Vocals - Lee Dorrian
Guitars - Garry Jennings
Bass - Scott Carlson
Drums - Brian Dixon
Hammond, Mellotron, Moog & Synths - David Moore
Guest Vocals on 'Cathedral Of The Damned' - Chris Reifert
Backing Vocals - Rosalie Cunningham
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.
Something’s got to give, you can feel it. The Universe is about to bring you a crushing gift of sonic excellence. The five elements of this musical current were called forth by The Great Brotherhood of the Heavy, 313 INC, specifically for this task. The rock solid rhythm section of Reverend Jim Forrester (Sixty Watt Shaman) on bass and Chuck Dukehart III on drums (Sixty Watt Shaman, Fog Hound) combined with the gut punching wall of guitars of Aaron Lewis (When the Deadbolt Breaks) and Todd Ingram (King Giant) that all together provide the perfect foundation for the explosive and soulful vocals of Johnny Throckmorton (Alabama Thunderpussy, Darkitect).
Right from the first jam sessions the chemistry was undeniable. Within a few hours of convening, three mammoth songs were delivered from a higher plane...with ease. And with a band line up like this, simply put, you KNOW it’s going to rule. Serpents Of Secrecy continue to write and craft what will be their first release. This almighty union is truly the stoner and doom rawk Illuminati.
So, while you’re waiting for the album to be completed, don’t sleep on getting your tickets for Stoner Hands of Doom 2013. Serpents Of Secrecy will deliver their debut U.S. performance during this legendary event scheduled to be held in Richmond, Virginia at the cities premier venue, Strange Matter.
Be sure to check out Serpents Of Secrecy online @
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