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DOOM * STONER * SLUDGE * DRONE * PSYCHEDELIC ~ HOME OF THE DOOM METAL ALLIANCE REVIEWS AND INTERVIEWS FROM THE UNDERGROUND

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    The New Zealand filthy sludge monsters METH DRINKER  and the US sludge-doom paladins of misanthropy GRAVES AT SEA will be intensively spreading around their bleak and sick view of life like a plague across Europe during May and early June 2013. The first site of infection will be the mighty HeavyDays In Doomtown Festival in Copenhagen, Denmark. The tour will be particularly intensive for Meth Drinker and will be split in three branches.  After the first big branch with Graves at Sea,  the Kiwi masters of sickness will be touring with the Danish grindcore band Dead Instrument in Northern Europe only in the second half of May.  Eventually the Meth Drinker plague will leave the “continent” and invade the British Isles,  in particular Ireland.

    Meth Drinker w/ Graves at Sea (US)
    4thMay Copenhagen, Denmark @ HeavyDays In Doomtown Festival, Ungdomshuset
    5thMay Aalborg, Denmark @ 1000Fryd
    6thMay Hamborg, Germnay @ H afenklang
    7thMay Wroclaw, Poland @ Obserwatorium Klub
    8thMay Dresden, Germany Chemiefabrik
    9thMay Wien, Austria EKH
    10thMay Ljubljana, Slovenia Metalkova
    11thMay Bologna, Italy Freakout Club
    12thMay Milano, Italy Blue Rose Saloon
    13thMay Lyon, France @ Ground Zero
    14thMay Kortrijk, Belgium The Pits
    15thMay Tilburg, Netherlands @ Li le Devil
    16thMay Leipzig, Germany Zoro w/ Samothrace (us) / BellWitch (us)
    17thMay Hannover, Germany Alerta Antifascista Festival
    18thMay Berlin, Germany Kastanienkeller

    Meth Drinker w/ Dead Instrument (Denmark)
    19thMay: Mannheim (D), @PfingstFest, JUZ
    20thMay Giessen, Venue TBA
    21thMay Offenburg, @Kessel
    22thMay Brussels (Belgium), The Bunker
    23thMay Rostock @ EulerBruch festival
    24thMay Aarhus (DK), Troejborg Beboerhus
    25thMay Copenhagen, Raw Birth Records Showcase. Ungdomshuset

    Meth Drinker in Ireland
    29thMayWednesday New Ross with Found on the Floor +mtbc
    30thMay Thursday Cork
    31st May FridayGalway
    1st June Saturday Belfast
    2nd June SundayDublin w/ Sodb, Putrefaction, probably TwistedMass +mtbc


    Beside the official bands involved in the tour there are also a lot of super-cool local bands involved for support. So no doubt, these gigs will be a blast!
    Keep the Facebook pages of the events, the webpages of the bands, of the organizers (Killtown Booking, the same guys behind HeavyDays In Doomtown Festival) and of Alwaysneverfun Records (strictly related with Meth Drinker), under your radar for possible late changes.

    Words: Marilena Moroni

    Facebook
    Always Never Fun Records
    Bandcamp
    Kill Town Bookings.Com
    Kill Town Bookings | Facebook



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    There’s hardly something better and more efficient than a fat split for getting to know two cool bands like, for example, Black Tar Prophet and Crawl, bearded guys who are good friends and like to make music together. Band’s names that say a lot … Try and pronounce those names slowly and by gurgling a bit and you’ll get the feeling of the dark and fu**in’ heavy that will be conveyed onto you by this nasty split. A few words about these bands are due. Black Tar Prophet are an instrumental duo from Nashville, Tennessee. The band is quite young as they started playing together during 2011. They got their debut album, the over 40-minute-long suite Note to Nod, in 2012. Then came the 2012 split with Crawl. A first change in the line-up turned the original setting of Mark Owen on guitar and Greg Swinehart on drums/booking (the one active in Note to Nod album) into the current line-up with Greg Swinehart on bass/booking and Erik Dever on drums and percussions. The latter is the duo involved in the split with Crawl.

    Crawl is a trio of mostly bearded guys from Atlanta, Georgia, an even younger band that started in 2012 and released a demo before this split.Crawl guys are Eric Crowe on guitar and vocals, Brad Claborn on guitar and Bass and Tommy Butler on drums. Here you’ll likely recognize (ex-)members of a series of cool US heavy bands like Hog Mountin, Molehill, Sons of God, Fulci, and so on. So this bunch of metallers from Nashville and Atlanta decided to join forces and make up an overly heavy, toxic split drenched wth raw, hallucinatory and asphyxiating drony sludge-doom metal. Both bands took part to the split in a somehow different manner compared to their previous releases. Black Tar Prophet broadly adhere to their style outlined in Note to Nod album. They like to create a sick and noisy wall of sound by means of slow, fuzzy, hyper-distorted and heavily downtuned guitar vibrating like a bass, and drumming accompanied by loud cymbal percussions. There are vocals but they only come from radio and movies samples employed to create tension and a sense of alienation. Slow pace is dominating although the guys like to disrupt the rhythm by means of accelerations. The result is invariably some raw, dark and sick, hallucinatory sludge-doom and yet spiced up by some whiffs of swampy groove. You can find echoes or similarities with Sleep, Electric Wizard as well as War Iron, Slomatics (especially for the extremely downtuned guitar) or Horse Latitude, mixed up with Sourvein or so.

    In this split Black Tar Prophet provide relatively “short” tracks, “Judgement Whore” and “Hypomania” (between 7 and + 8 minutes-long) with a common structure but slightly differing for tempo changes. However there is continuity between this split and Note to Nod with the advantage that the shorter size of the tracks makes music more accessible. On the Crawl’s side, you have to expect something a bit different from their 2012 Demo, which is graced by some quite enjoyable muscular, burning hot mixture of sabbathian doom, obscure drone-doom and southern sludge metal. Like a multi-headed monster, in this split Crawl is going to show another face and other skills, the latter likely influenced by one of the bands where Eric Crowe militates, the drone-doom metal band Fulci. Hence “Rise Feast”, the over 18-minutes long suite provided by Crawl, is a slow, viscous, painful vortex of plodding mind-numbing heaviness, a sequence of slow-paced monolithic riffs able to almost extinguish any physical and inner light, like hearing Horse Latitude jamming with SunnO))). If Crawl’s style in the demo had been depicted as “destructo-sludge” in some webzines, well, be aware that in this split Crawl is going to entertain you with their “destructo-drone”! So here we are with two rather new US bands bound to give us further satisfaction if they keep the promises of bleak and swampy heaviness declared in their first two releases, including this split. And I’m sure they will!

    Keep the facebook pages of the bands checked out. For example, Crawl are working on new stuff which is sounding so yummi …
    You can get hold of this powerful, pitch-black split between Black Tar Prophet and Crawl, either digital or as CD, as well as their cool previous releases, via the Bandcamp pages of the bands.

    Words: Marilena Moroni

    Black Tar Prophet | Bandcamp
    Black Tar Prophet | Facebook
    Black Tar Prophet | Myspace
    Crawl | Facebook
    Crawl | Bandcamp
    Crawl | Myspace
    Crawl | Soundboard

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


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

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

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    I hate to say such things, but, comrades, I’m totally out of time so let me introduce you Sea of Disorder (Austria) with the words of it’s members: “We both were born in Salzburg / Austria where we still live and create our music. Our main influences come from Post Rock and Doom, and we wanted to create melodic, atmospheric but also rough and sometimes brutal sounding mixture of our own style. We are only two persons, and played all the instruments ourselves”. Here’re Robert and Christian – both navigators of Sea of Disorder.

    Hello dudes! How are you? First of all, how was born Sea of Disorder project? And what kind of musical and lyrical conception hides behind this name?

    ~Sea Of Disorder~ was born on a drive home from an Opeth concert in Munich in Nov. 2011, where we talked about some ideas that we had. Out of this idea we sat together a few days later and did some jamming and then decided, to make an EP together. The conception behind this name is simple – we wanted a name that sounds good to us, and since we both like themes that are about the sea in general, we somehow came to this name. The musical conception behind the word 'disorder' is, that we couldn't clearly put our music into any shelve, so what's left was some kind of disorder.

    Your first Ep was released on March 5th by Le Crépuscule du Soir, do you have any other records besides that?

    No, we do not have any other records yet. This one is our debut EP, but theres more to come in 2013 / 2014!

    Men, you combine post metal with doom, and first element of that mix has very vague boundaries. It has a positive side because you can jamming all night long recording some ethereal stuff and caring not about it’s length. On the other hand – most of post-based albums sound similar because of same reason. That’s okay for me, but how do you see individuality of the band? What does differ it from others?

    First of all – as you say – it is pretty hard nowadays to sound individual, but we think, that even when sounding similar to other bands to some extent, the listener needs to read a bit between the lines to hear some typical grooves and sounds, certain bands use often and in that way have their own sound. In our case it's on one hand the post-rocky feeling and on the other hand – especially when the growls come into play – the doomy feeling of the songs. The mix between melodic and then brutal sounding passages – which certainly has been done by other bands too, but as stated above, when reading or hearing between the lines, it just sounds like ~Sea Of Disorder~.



    And what are your plans for future works? Do you see a certain goal which you’d like to reach onto next record? Are you going to add more doom into your songs or post-direction is more attractive for you?

    Our top goal is to get out our new stuff as soon as possible. It will be a full length album, and we are in the process of writing new songs at the moment. We also have some guest musicians alongside with us again, and our goal is to establish ourselves among the listeners and other fellow bands as a band that is known for making good music. We want the listeners to remember the guys from Austria.  To accomplish this, we will be adding both styles you mentioned. There will be classic post-rock songs, classic doom songs and a mixture of both, and some more progressiveness, and our own passion!

    May you point positive and negative sides of post-scene? I guess doom had more chances because it was quite primitive from the beginning and therefore there was a lot of place for bands to grow, and he we got many subgenres. Post elements present in a few of metal genres too, but it seems that their elements are too limited.

    In both, the doom and the post-rock genre, one of the most positive aspects is, that you can take your time with each track, and slowly build an atmosphere, no matter how long tha track may last in the end. Downside is, that it also easily possible, that these longer tracks begin to sound boring after a time, and you need to find the perfect middle between slow-building-up and not-getting-repetetive too much.You have to tune into the song with much feeling, and to find the right pacing is not always easy.

    Sea of Disorder “Chapter II”




    What place does music take in your life? Do you feel yourself as some kind of  researches or is it just a way to relax and bring thoughts and emotions in order?

    Music takes a great place in our lives, it's part of our lives, defines our lives in a lot of situations, and also helps in a lot of situations to get over some hard times, to increase good feelings and so on. It's definitely not just a way to relax for both of us.

    Got you, but how do you think – how does your music inflict upon other persons? Did you discuss that with your listeners?

    Based upon the feedback we got, out music does some good things! If we hear terms like ‘beautiful’, ‘powerful’ or even ‘disturbing’ or ‘brutal’ we can assume that our music inflicts something to other persons, and wether be that good feelings, or stirring / disturbing feelings (but in a good way, like watching a good horror movie where you also take feelings such as fear or stress as positive aspects), we have reached our goal with it in our opinion. We always try to create a somewhat tense atmosphere with our music, and if someone loses his self in this atmosphere, and is maybe able to forget the world around himself for a few minutes, because the person is entranced by the music, then we are happy. And we really hope that we’re inflicting just this to our listeners.

     Sea of Disorder is a duo but I read that few people did help you with record of that Ep. Who are they and what is their contribution in your songs?

    Yes, we had help from friends, which was really an awsome experience for us! Chris Huber, who also lives in Salzburg as we do, who is known for many ambient and noise projects like 'Wach', 'Sounds Of Earth', 'Tod Durch Arbeit', and is a real genius when it comes to creating atmospheric and creepy sounds ( also not to forget on the guitar ). He did some great effects for us – the intro of the first track and the second track to be precise, and helped us a lot with advices and how-to's. Loïc Rossetti, who is known for the vocals on the last two – and the upcoming – releases from 'The Ocean' did the vocals for track 3 and track 4, which was also a really nice gesture and an honor for us.

    How long did you work out songs for Ep? And, hey, why did you leave it nameless?

    We worked around 2 months until we had the songs for this EP ready composed.  We left the EP nameless since we thought that the name Sea Of Disorder would also fit as an album title. The story of the EP is told by the names of the songs.

    May you name bands or artists who were your teachers on the way to realization Sea of Disorder?

    Ok, 10 Word pages of text incoming!
    ...and since that would be a little too much, I think it's fair enough to just name some of our most important influences or 'teachers' as you say. Bands like Isis, The Ocean, Jesu, Cult Of Luna, Red Sparowes, Sunn O))), If These Trees Could Talk, Intronaut, Mouth Of The Architect, A Storm Of Light, EF, Tool, Porcupine Tree, Pelican, Mono, all Progressive Rock, Doom, Post-Rock bands in general were our teachers I think, and of course all the old school Rock Bands like Pink Floyd, Genesis and so on.

     Well, it’s a kind of personal question but I don’t remember when I was asking it for last time, so how do you spread your music amidst your relatives and friends? Do your colleagues from the work know about it and do they support you?

    Family and friends ( and also colleagues ) know about our music and we get some good support from them... even if many of them don't listen to the kind of Music we make, but the motivating words never cease.

    Does your label help you with promo or do you spread a word only by your own efforts? Do you already have a feedback and from where do responses usually come?

    Our label definitely helps us a lot with promo, they sent promo packages out, spread the word of our existance and so on. The response so far is really great. We have some great reviews going on in the internet, won a band contest with the EP and had some interviews ( one on the radio, one at a internet platform which can be watched on youtube ) and now the one with you guys!

    Will you support the new release with gigs?

    That is definitely the plan. At the moment our time is spent to write ( and later record ) the new material, and then we will begin to look into the gig-thing. Most likely with guest musicians to support us live, because just a drumset and a guitar would be a bit insufficient, since we want to play as many parts as possible really live and not from a file on the computer.

    Okay, thank you! I wish you all the best on your way with Sea of Disorder! If you have few more words for your friends or parents, for my friends or parents, for parents and friends of our readers then it’s right time – bring it on! :-)

    Thank you very much too Aleks!
    For our friends and parents: Thanks for the love & support!
    For your friends and parents: Good guy you got there, taking his time to do these interviews!
    For the parents of our readers: Your daughters / sons are listening to good music, not – as you may think – to just noisy shit. You should give it a listen too, since every musical direction where there is real cranftsmanship behind it, should be honored as much as possible ;-)

    Ha-ha, that’s a positive final! Good luck dudes!

    Interview By Aleks

    Facebook
    Bandcamp
    Myspace
    YouTube








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    Stoke-on-Trent based Cosmic Doomers SPACE WITCH are back from their hiatus with a new EP ‘The Alchemy Paradox’ which is set to be released on limited Cassette and Digital formats via Cosmic Tomb on the 30th April 2013.
    ‘The Alchemy Paradox’ is a 30 minute DIY release of instrumental postdoom. It was recorded DIY style (badly with minimal recording equipment – warts an all) by the band at Star Trak Studios, Stoke-on-Trent on January the 28th/29th 2013 and captures the bands sound at their rawest form as a trio. The EP was mixed and mastered by Nathan and Tom at The Universal Thrift Club Music Studio, Stoke-on-Trent.

    The EP comprises of 3 post-doom instrumental tracks:

    1. Hang the Witch (12:57)
    A piece that reflects the journey of emotions going through a long term relationship breakdown. Chaos, loneliness and acceptance.

    2. Cosmic Cauldron (13:45)
    An old school track that has grown since its inception. The exploration of time, all things funeral and slushiness. The span of life reaching its eventual conclusion a fixed point in time.

    3. Black Pyramid (06:08)
    The realisation that our lives are controlled by a structure put into place well before our time. Religion, Governments and Credit Systems that fix our boundaries in life. Denial, realisation and then avoidance.

    Pre-Orders are now available from the SPACE WITCH Bandcamp page HERE.

    Read on for more info about the band…

    SPACE WITCH are an instrumental post-doom trio from the rotten kilns of Stoke-on-Trent. They take influence from their surroundings and experiences writing minimalist and repetitive drawn out tracks incorporating the feelings and expression of topics faced in life. Their musical influences include a wide range of contemporary and off-the-wall styles including many underground and major bands/artists. Originally formed in 2007 with members from the Stoke collective of musicians based at Star Trak Studios and saw their first shows and 2 track demo in 2008 sharing the stage with the likes of “Rise to Thunder”, “The Sontaran Experiment”, “Humanfly”, “Lazarus Blackstar”, “Charger” and “Firebird”. 2009 saw the start of a 2 year hiatus and at the end of it a major lineup change. They became active again locally and spread their wings further a field to Bristol, supporting bands such as “Saviours”, “Cernunnos” and “Mother of Six”. In 2012 the band experienced another major lineup change after a failed merger with the doom-fusion band “The Weird Head”. With a new lineup and a new set of songs the band continued to play in and outside of the area playing with the likes of “Opium Lord”, “Trollkraftt” and “Grimpen Mire”. The current SPACE WITCH lineup is:

    Daz Rowlands (founder) – Guitar/FX
    Ian Hickton (Legendary Lonnie Cook Band) – Bass
    Daniel Mansfield (Mountains Became Machines) – Drums

    2013 will see their first label supported release and a number one off shows around the UK. The band are currently recruiting an additional guitarist and an electronics operator to return to the roots of experimentation, interested parties should not hesitate to get in touch!

    Space Witch | Facebook
    Space Witch |Bandcamp
    Cosmic Tomb | Facebook

    Source: The Sleeping Shaman

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  • 04/14/13--08:02: Ziz – Ever ...
  • We came to know about Ziz via the heavy psych rock compilation Hofmann’s Kaleidoscope, sponsored by Vincebus Eruptum/Perkele portal where the band had contributed with their track self-titled track. Ziz is a new band and their contribution stems from Ziz’s debut EP Ever, that was released early this year. Ziz is from Pavia, historical town near Milano, northern Italy.  New band but born from a big pile of ashes of quite a number of underground bands of the region ranging from necro- and Lovecraftian space/funeral doom acts (Malasangre and Caput LVIIIm), to freak-surf/garage rock, stoner-kraut-psych rock and eclectic pop (bands Mocker Monkeys, Klaus & Can’d, Anello Magnetico Rotante, Morning Telefilm, etc). Band members are Alessio Bertucci on guitar/voice, Nicola Casella on bass/voice, Enzo Trecate on synth/voice/vocoder and Daniele Curone on drums. I must confess I was surprised when I realized that Ziz include member(s) of the bleak sludge-doom bands Malasangre/Caput LVIIIm, the only ones I knew about in the above list. I was surprised because Ziz have basically not much in common with those necro-doomsters as in Ziz the psychedelic, space and garage components are definitely dominant.

    Their debut EP Ever is an intriguing, over 31 minutes-long collection of 5 retro-sounding trippy, freak, psyched-out mind-warping spacey ballads where moods vary between intimacy, melancholy and total happy drug-induced escape from reality into some weird, colourful, unknown cosmic dimension. This type of sound copes well with the sense of mystery and esoteric myth suggested by the band’s name, Ziz, a legendary, archaic giant bird able to eclipse the sun by spreading out its wings. The retro features in this band are not limited to a declared and clearly perceivable worship of krautrock and Hawkwind but are also displayed by the wide employment of synth and vocoder. Further retro flavor is introduced via garage rock components often merging with neo-psychedelia in the vein of My Sleeping Karma, 35007, Wooden Shjip, and so on. In the EP the band curiously even evoke sounds and moods inspired by David Bowie in the particular ballad “Tardigrade”. The doom heritage of the band is though not completely set aside. Especially in the powerful psych ballad “And To Protect” there is a doomy soul, a subtle sense of darkness more than elsewhere in the EP. And the synth is not only the psychedelic jamming but also imparting a sense of occult solemnity.

    This track and the final lysergic ballad “Space is the Place” are my fave ones because I find that especially in those ballads the guys fully unleashed their energy for building up some great, involving jamming. Band Ziz possess many souls that contribute to create an intriguing polyedric style. This debut EP is solid and charming. But my impression is that this album is not stating clearly which direction the band may take in their future releases. And this is by no means a fault. Ziz’s style is fluid and colorful and may bring about some interesting surprises in the future. Ziz’s EP Ever is out via the underground label Toilet Smokers Club. Psych lovers, get in touch with the band for the EP.

     Words: Marilena Moroni

    Ziz | Facebook

    Ziz - Space is the Place



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    SunnO)) mastermind Stephen O’Malley is well known for making music which is never easy-listening or apt for people who approach music without curiosity, open mind as well as  some patience. Gravetemple is the drone-doom metal project stemming from the collaboration of Stephen with the genius Hungarian singer Attila Csihar (Mayhem Tormentor, Aborym, NunFuckRitual, Plasma Pool, etc.) and the Australian experimental guitarist Oren Ambarchi (Burial Chamber Trio, Pentemple, etc.), i.e. a line-up close to the one in SunnO)))’s album Black One without Greg Anderson. As reported on the relevant websites, Gravetemple is a “sacred metaphor & psychedelic spiritual abstraction”. The band conjugate this concept by means of a mind-warping music where the SunnO))) sound is reworked by experimentation, improvisation and by a more focused abstract approach. But we are not dealing with dark ritual or psychedelic music: the backbone of Gravetemple is crushing and extremely dark, noisy drone doom metal where way sinister ambiance when not peaks of evil, are evoked especially by some unique, creepy vocals by Attila Csihar.

    Another grimly cool feature of this band is the graphical artistic side, as all the releases sofar are adorned by the bleak illustrations by "Black Ink Warlock" Justin Bartlett. Gravetemple started out back in 2006, more or less at the same time when the other SunnO))) offspring Burial Chamber Trio started.  Gravetemple’s double LP Ambient/Ruin is about to be released via Ideologic Organ/Editions Mego in late April 2013, more or less in connection with Gravetemple’s European spring tour and the gig at the Roadburn festival. As mentioned above, Gravetemple’s production has always been deeply based on improvisation and especially live-oriented. In particular the 2007 debut full-length The Holy Down and the 2009 Le Vampire de Paris album, were recorded live and have the structure of long single-track slowly building up sounds, effects and atmospheres to paroxism in a progressive way.  The Ambient / Ruin double LP is based on the limited edition 2008 demo CD, which had a different, let’s say “sectorial” structure as it comprised six separate tracks, that now are gathered into four parts (side A, B, C and D) distributed onto the two LPs. The Ambient / Ruin tracks are a mixture of live and studio recordings done all over the world (Europe, Japan, Australia) back in 2007-2008. In spite of this “fragmental” nature, the combination of these recordings is very charming and is well worth being listened to as a whole in order to enjoy the sonic experience.
    There are several reasons for enjoyment of this release in particular.

    The first reason is the involvement of a fourth member in the line-up, Matt “Skitz” Sanders, an Australian black-death metal drummer known for his militancy in Destroyer 666, Cemetery Urn, Sadistik Execution, etc.. Surprising, eh …Further reasons come from the fact that in Ambient/Ruin the variety of sounds employed seems to be greater than in the other releases, especially in terms of percussions and electronics (by Oren Ambarchi) and for the introduction of natural, field samples (by Attila). And also Attila's vocals display an amazing range of tones here.  Probably it is the original structure in separate songs that helps in enhancing variety and, in particular, in highlighting contrasts. Contrasts here are made of a variety of solutions which are striking different. The band may employ a sudden, sharp interruption of the sound, like in part A. Or else they introduce quiet natural sounds (birds singing, dog barking, water) which end up seeming so unnatural in the general context of the extremely dark, gruesome and heavy music to come. What I enjoyed as utmost and very original contrast is in the quite “metallic” side C, where a relentless death/thrashy drumming pattern, not completely in the background, is unnaturally paired totally and crazily unrelated to Attila's torture, hallucinatory chanting and the almost static stream of drone noise unfolding at higher volume. That was like being under the effect of a strong drug, being aware and scared of it and not controlling it ... That, for me, is an amazing use of contrast. Hence these contrasts are remarkably different from one another, and yet similar, because they sort of tell about how things can change sharply or be out of control, can be different behind a surface, the double face of reality, something like schizophrenia, or a bipolar way of looking at reality. This is at least the way I felt the Ambient/Ruin experience. But you can read more about this album and Gravetemple in general in the interview to Steven O’Malley (here).   

    Gravetemple will be playing in the Main Stage hall at the Roadburn Festival on friday April 18th 2013. The event was worth making a beautiful poster by artist Costin Chioreanu.
    If you are there in Tilburg, you know what to do …

    Words: Marilena Moroni

    Gravetemple | Facebook
    Gravetemple - Ambient Ruin Double LP
    Stephen O'Malley's Official Website
    Gravetemple | Soundboard

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    It is a weird sensation to switch the computer on, connect to the web, check the e-mail and being struck by a message about the opportunity to interview none less than Stephen O’Malley!  I guess the man does not need much introduction, although envisaging him “simply” as one of the two sinister cloaked  minds and supreme entities of  mythical and megalithic SunnO))) is correct but reductive. You can spend actually long hours, when not days, while plunging into Stephen O’Malley’s impressive and widely  branched-out artistic activity.  As a matter of fact (… take a deep breath …) the man writes and plays music, experiments, collaborated and collaborates with a biiig amount of musicians in a big number of projects and bands, has an intense touring activity, when he goes to Roadburn the huge hall of the Main Stage is overflowing, was actively writing about extreme metal back in the 90’s, is a highly appreciated graphic artist, studies and listens to music at 360°, is the curator of a particular label called Ideologic Organ, is artistic director of international cultural and musical festivals (like the Transmissions Festival, in Ravenna, Italy), etc. …Just think about the number of cool past and present-day bands variably involving Stephen O’Malley beside SunnO))): e.g., KTL, Æthenor, Gravetemple, Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine, Burning Witch, Khanate, Lotus Eaters, Fungal Hex, Pentemple, Thorr's Hammer, etc. … Please consider that Stephen O’Malley is not even 40 years old and doesn’t look like a “boring” posh intellectual but like a metaller!!!  With an excellent taste for jackets, by the way …

    Anyway, I got this amazing opportunity of interviewing Stephen O’Malley with the precious help of my mates Michele Giorgi and Fabrizio Garau out at The New Noise webzine and their friend who arranged for the rendez-vous.  I got hold of Stephen by phone on last April 3rd 2013, when Stephen had just come back to France, where he lives, after ashort trip overseas. With an artist like Stephen O’Malley and with a forcibly limited time available at the telephone, one cannot obviously speak about everything. This time we concentrated on a few recent, present-day and imminent activities and events involving Stephen and some of his mates and artistic collaborators: notably Stephen’s label Ideologic Organ and the imminent release of Gravetemple’s new LP plus their gig at Roadburn on friday April 18th 2013. Although Stephen’s friendly and sociable attitude invariably lead the chat into exploring curious and nice features of the past …
    Here is the trascription of that chat. Enjoy!

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    Mari – Hi Stephen, thanks for accepting the interview. There would be so many things to speak about with a person, musician and artist like you but I know that in this occasion we are going to focus on two main topics, your label and the new release by your band Gravetemple, which will also be playing at the Roadburn Festival in Tilburg shortly. So let's start by speaking about your label, Ideologic Organ, and your collaboration with Edition Mego, run by Peter Pita Rehberg, who is also your mate in KTL. (HERE) Why did you start a label and what are the elements of, let’s say, human and artistic affinity linking you and Pita in this particular type of activity?

    Stephen O’Malley (SOMA) – Hello! Well, yes, let’s start with the label! Peter and I have been working together for about 6-7 years by now making music. He also played in some live shows of SunnO))) many years ago, about 10 years ago now. But we started composing music together for a theater work for a French director named Gisèle Vienne. And over the past three years we wrote quite a lot of music together, for her, for Gisèle Vienne, for various theater pieces, and also for KTL, the band which we ended up creating out of that collaboration.. Editions Mego sort of had a resurgence in the past 5 years. During that period of time Peter started working with John (Elliott) from the band Emeralds at a sort of imprint label called Spectral Spools. And that was really positive for both of them. And also John, you know, his taste, his curating and the way he was developing the identity of Spectral Spools ... So Pita continued to develop some imprints. And one of those imprints was also working with the GRM, which is the studio started by Pierre Schaeffer in the Maison de Radio France in the late 50s and which became quite a centre for concrete/contemporary electronic and experimental music in the 60's and 70s in France and in Europe. So … Peter, as Edition Mego, had a lot of connections with experimental musicians related to that studio. The GRM is still around, it is a society, sort of. And so they developed a label called the R-GRM  (= Recollection-GRM), as an imprint, and this is also part of the Editions Mego sort of family of labels, or whatever you want to call it. They released a couple of pieces from the archive ... It is pretty astounding actually what has been done there.  The other imprint, or one of the other imprints (there's a few other too) was my imprint, Ideologic Organ. It was decided I would be the curator of this small vynil edition label basically. And, you know, that's a great idea. Personally I don't have the infrastructure set up for really run a company right now and I'm not sure I would like to have the chance to do it right now, you know. But partnering with Editions Mego it is possible for me to still curate a label  in this way and enjoy selection.  Well, first of all the music is very interesting and pleasurable to listen to; second of all the conceptual sort-out I'm behind, about either the pieces on their albums I'm publishing, who are the musicians themselves or their history,and so on. This is very interesting.   So we do the label, and Edition Mego is the company that handles all the distribution, mail order, printing, or it is my partner involved in this. So maybe it is a sort of viewpoint on music that I find interesting .. But the label is still young, it is still very young and finding its identity, I feel.

    Mari – Well, I would say there is already a nice variety of releases through Ideologic Organ. Also … about the variety of musical offer gained from your label, I was thinking this: thanks to your music and to your multifaceted offer via the label, do you think that more metallers discover experimental and avantgarde music or things went the other way round, with more aficionados of avantgarde music evaluating extreme metal. I mean, this is also involving not only your label but also your activity as a musician ... Also, I ask this because it may be almost a natural question to do/pose to a label manager who is pairing up black noise like in Wold and Sir Richard Bishop, for example. So what is the idea behind your plan or programs for the release of such heterogeneous albums? Do you want to draw people from different scenes together?

    SOMA -  I don't know if I could say that this may bring people into different types of music, by “genre” so much  ... I believe “genre” is something more interesting as a younger person when it's all like using genre as a form of identity, at least for my generation. You know, I'm almost 40 years old.  I can think of “genre” like an identity, a group you can associate with and become one of, and then genre that becomes a restriction because of course everyone grows and changes their identity over time. And then now for me it doesn't really matter, genre is now simply a sort of mental categorizing tool. I means there are many ways to look at genres. I can explain genres for as conceptual music. That  is genre. So maybe all the albums that are released on Ideologic Organ can be considered like this too.  Well, that's my viewpoint of course, but maybe it has something to do with the generational factor as well because for people of the younger generations, people who are 20-21 right now, maybe “genre” is so important because the access to music is so much more than when I was 20-21. Now it is really possible to be exposed to and to be able to access many, many, many kinds of music of all sort of popularity and distribution. Very quickly just by the internet, of course. You can even find recordings from the early 1900, you know, those recordings on wax, you can find them in the internet in ten minutes! Eh eh .. It must be incredible for someone to come into the joy of exploring music today, to be able to do that. On the other hand, how do you categorize your record collection? Eh eh… Do you do that hypothetically or do you put it "ok this is my jazz section, this is my black metal section, this is my black music, here are my black-coloured albums,..." eh eh ...", you know ... it's all a matter of self-organization ...  But you know I think I always ... I never personally felt so inside of a group, like I never felt too deep into the black metal scene or in the electronic music scene or whatever, doom metal scene ...  I never really  ... I've always ... I liked to see what’s on but from outside, as an outsider and I enjoyed that too. For me there is a restriction of being caught up with the identity of others to the point when your identity is gone ... I think there is a lot of re-interpretation of the music. And if you are a very big fan of music whose pleasure is the discovery anyway, why put restrictions on it?

    Mari – Yes, you’re definitely right. By the way, this temporal issue that you have been mentioning now reminds me of the fact that you have posted the digital versions of your old fanzine Descent on your personal website

    SOMA - Yeah!

    Mari - A sort of look into the roots of everything. It is a nice pairing of your label now with all the influences and, let's say, different worlds coming together and … your roots! I found it quite interesting.

    SOMA - Yeah, I don't know if it is a good idea to expose your roots, I don't know if it is a good idea to show my fanzine of when I was 18 years old, you know. It is not exactly “open-minded”, maybe it is a little bit embarassing! But on the other hand  anyone made choices back in time that may not gonna be the same twenty years later … to me it is interesting to see it in a linear trend.  For me that activity was more like an exercise of alchemy, almost, because creating that fanzine took so much effort ...

    Mari - I can only imagine!

    SOMA - … to even discover how to print, to discover how to organize things into a lay-out, to discover what paper to use, how to find the way to promote the fanzine, how to find people to sell it for me or to mailorder. Everything was a continuous discovery.  And now I can do the same in two hours! Two hours scanning the fanzine, printing a pdf and posting it on my website. And I swear there would be more downloads of that fanzine than I ever printed, maybe by a factor of ten. In just two months! It is pretty amazing! Eh eh eh …The internet doesn't tell you about time so much. It is not like finding an ancient book and really feeling the history of time in the pages as you turn and read them, view, feel them. The internet is always simply quite ... eh eh eh ... so ... you know, that sense of time does not always has the same feeling. I mean you can find the wax recordings of the early 1900 like in ten minutes. So what is that? Is that a time capsule or a representation that time does not exist? I mean ...



    Mari - I see what you mean. However I think it was a nice thing to see the very physical roots of a musician, you, that is considered, maybe in a superficial way, connected to electronic music, that is something a bit more "abstract" than metal or so. Maybe some peope think about you as an experimental musician who is somehow into metal. But when you see those "physical", solid roots, like the fanzine, old-school fanzines, it is a cool way of seeing you “physically”!

    SOMA -  Yeah, everyone has an history, I mean ... I was reading an interview with the singer of, the other day. And he was talking about all sorts of influences! This guy is an incredible pop musician but he was talking about thr Bad Brains, how Bad Brains and hardcore had changed his life, and stuff like that. So everyone has one's own history. For me my history was growing up in the suburbs of Seattle and discovering geography and music through tape trading and making a fanzine. Consider that in the first issue of the fanzine the front cover is Burzum! In 1994, you know … I interviewed Varg something like a couple of months after he went into prison. He is out now after serving almost 20 years in jail. Eh, it was 1994, crazy!  But everyone has this type of roots.  I was talking with the singer of Lungfish hardcore band, Daniel Higgs. You know now Daniel Higgs is a great solo musician, incredible singer, and is also playing banjos most of the times, and plays carnatic music, or else his own version of carnatic music. He is a beautiful musician, but also, during the 80s, he was the singer of one of the most crazy hardcore bands in Washington DC, Lungfish. I was talking to him before he was doing his raga show actually in Ravenna, at the Transmission festival, in there. And I was talking about playing Lungfish gigs, and being on punk rock shows. Well, he was telling me so much about how much LSD was very important in the Washington DC hardcore scene. This is a scene very much like into straight-edge, it is where the idea of straight-edge was born. . He was telling me that as much as straight edge was important, there was also a huge amount of people taking LSD at these concerts, … and the bands too! So you have all these stories … It could be pretty interesting, you know. But then everyone has one’s own life to think about, so … which is way more than enough for almost everyone, so … It is really the present, when you view other people, you really focus on their present, and the history you discover, well, it’s history, it doesn’t exist any more.



    Mari – Yeah, I can see your point. Well, speaking about present-day things, let’s speak about  Gravetemple and the album that is about to be released, Ambient/Ruin (*), out on the end of April, isn’t it? After Roadburn. Or will it be actually out before?
    [see the review of Ambient/Ruin HERE]

    SOMA - Yeah, we were trying to make it for that set of shows we are going to do this month …Gravetemple group is a kind of spin-off of my band SunnO))). There was a moment when SunnO))) were offered to do some things and some people didn’t want to do them and some people did. So we did a couple of spin-offs, or different versions, in a way. One is called Gravetemple and the other one was called Burial Chamber Trio. Yeah, some people were in either one or the other or so. And in Gravetemple we started doing a few things in 2006. Gravetemple was made up by Oren Ambarchi and myself and Attila Csihar, all of whome were in SunnO))) at that period. And Burial Chamber Trio ended up being Oren Ambarchi, Attila Csihar and Greg Anderson, and also another guy, a drummer from Hungary.  Anyway Gravetemple came back together in that trio, sometimes wit a couple of other people a few times, and did small tours and even single shows, sort of very very experimental and very improvised, but also with the pleasure of being together. Because being together was not only to have great meals and spend time together but also to make music together. This is the way we enjoy each other’s time. So the album we are releasing was actually the demo that we made in 2007-2008 to sort of prepare ourselves to a small tour we did together in 2008. This demo was made as small edition on CD at that time. Now it is kind of unavailable. So we decided to make a proper edition on vinyl. So that’s what that record is.

    Mari – Yes, I had read about the story of the demo. Well, probably that was also the most appropriate release for turning it into a double LP because it is not a single track/pièces as the other albums you did (The Holy Down and Les Vampires de Paris). Or maybe not?

    SOMA - Well, that doesn’t really matter in mastering. Actually both of those pièces have several “stages”. It’s just that maybe with Ambient/Ruin we made different tracks by cutting off the stages. But, I mean, Ambient/Ruin is a faux album, it is a type of thing where you don’t listen to each track separately, otherwise it is out of context, in my opinion. It is something about … well, now with the vinyl you can listen to a side only, but, well, I would suggest … well, people have different ways for listening to music, of course …It may be that in the future we make some more vinyls for the other releases too, because, for example, they all show some interesting features or points in the history of Oren Ambarchi’s music. Like what happened to Oren after the Black One record, or what was his involvement with SunnO))), or with people in SunnO))), etc. He was performing in album Monolith and Dimensions, recording it, but he didn’t tour with the band at that time. So Gravetemple continue to do a few things together too. It is also my own history with things, you know. Yeah, I mean, how everyone is gonna listen to it it’s fine for me, if you are looking to the music in the first place, I am on it. So … Do as thou wilt! …

    Mari – Did you change something, did you do some exrtra work on the original 2008 tracks for the new edition on LP?

    SOMA – Well, they had to be remastered for the vinyl, of course, but to say that a demo was remastered sounds kind of silly, eh eh eh …, so let’s say the demo was “mastered”. And it was taken care of by a great sound engineer.



    Mari – Cool! By the way, year 2008 was also the year when Grave Temple incorporated a new member. You were a trio and became a quartet with the drummer Matt “Skitz” Sanders (a.k.a. Matt “Skitz” Sanders). Is he now a stable member of the line-up?

    SOMA  - Skitz? His name is Skitz, like “schizophrenic”, hahahaha! No no, he joined us for one tour and for some studio drumming. He is on the album and we did some touring with him. I’d love to play some more with him. That man is incredible indeed, and it was a real honour for me to play with him. But on this coming tour we are a trio. Also Oren is playing drums in the group, at times.

    Mari – I see! Was it difficult to convince a black-death metal drummer to be involved into your projects or not?

    SOMA – Well, Matt Sanders is an open-minded person. Oren had worked with him several times. You know, Matt Sanders is from Australia, as Oren Ambarchi is. They worked together in a few experimental projects in Australia either playing together or Matt playing with another drummer or playing with an opera singer. He is an open-minded musician. Not that his style is like that, but matt is a bit like Dave Lombardo. Dave Lombardo didn’t play only and always with Slayer, but he play also with a lot of experimental musicians on a lot of other projects. He is open-minded and pushing himself. Matt Skitz Sanders has that kind of mentality too. I mean, convincing him to play, the idea of it, was not and is not a problem. The only problem ends up being logistical. Now during this tour we franlkly could not afford to pay for him to come over, so this is what happens.

    Mari – Eh, it is a real pity … Ok, I see my time is finished. For my last question I would like to ask you about Oren Ambarchi. How did your interaction with this musician start? I mean, what are the common grounds for your combined research? Is it something related to how you both use guitar in a non-rock/non-metal way or what?

    SOMA  - I actually want to tell you a story, a kind of funny one.  I used to live in Manhattan time ago and I was DJ-ing sometimes in different events. On one event back in 2003 or so I was Djing and decided to play one of Oren’s tracks a second albumI came out on touch, Grapes from the Estate. There’s a track called Corkscrew, that for me is kind of … that album and that track, for me it’s classic Oren Ambarchi for composition. So I was playing that track at the club, and the bass was so insane that it set off the fire alarms in the club! All the sirens went off and everything, people evacuated the club and seven (!!) fire department trucks came to the club! It was a big mess, because the bass on that track was so strong that triggered the fire alarm. So, evacuation, fire department people, it was kind of disaster. But I wrote an e-mail to Oren the next day telling him the story. He simply wrote back and just said: “ We must work together”. Hahahahah! And then when SunnO))) were invited to Australia we had an incredible experience and it started all. Now, well, it’s almost ten years ago!

    Mari – Hahaha … thanks, nice story indeed! And, well, a cool way for finishing this much pleasant chat with you, Stephen. Thanks for everything, all the best for the release, the band and the tour, and, well, see you at Roadburn!

    SOMA – Thank for the interview and, yeah, see you and the people there at Roadburn or around!

    Words: Marilena Moroni & Stephen O’Malley

    Special thanks to: Michele Giorgi & Fabrizio Garau of The New Noise, and our contact with Stephen O’Malley.
    Credits of Gravetemple’s live photos go to Tom Medwell

    Stephen O'Malley's Official Website
    Ideologic Organ
    Gravetemple | Facebook
    Gravetemple | Ambient Ruin Double Lp - HERE
    Gravetemple | Soundcloud








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    Wine from Tears is yet another in the growing field of Katatonia influenced doom metal; going so far as to have a song titled 'Close to Katatonia', and for good reason. Aside from wearing the Swedish band on their sleeves they also bear a passing resemblance to Forest Stream. These are the best reference points for Wine from Tears.

    The production is excellent for a debut album with all the instruments coming through loud and clear. The guitars are heavily influenced by modern symphonic black metal with lead work reminiscent of Icon-era Paradise Lost; though they lack Gregors’ finesse and skill. There are more open chorded passages to palm muted ones. The bass is buried in the mix for the most part. The keyboards have several passing nods to mid-period Emperor. It works oddly enough with the doom style they are playing here. The drums aren't anything to get excited about as they simply get the job done.

    The vocals are great with the male singers’ guttural growl dominating the bulk of the songs; periodically throwing in a shriek for good measure. There are some female vocals towards the end of the album that flow flawlessly with the music. Not operatic but more in the rock/gothic format of bands like Lacuna Coil.

    Musically, this is a very melodic affair. The keyboards haunt the background of the songs only really coming into the foreground when more traditional piano is being played. The music is very romantic and epic while melancholic. Sprawling leads cover the vast soundscapes of each song in between verses of woe. There is a lot going on in each song; these songs blend together forcing the listener to listen to the album all the way through. There are no bad or outstanding songs on this release. It is highly enjoyable however and recommended to any fan of true doom. This gets an 8.5/10

    Words: GrimmDoom

    Facebook
    Official Website

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    It’s now been nearly one year since the practitioners of Southern Lord Recordings were bestowed the honor of releasing SLEEP’s legendary Dopesmoker album and fans’ and critics’ response continues to be overwhelming! Thus, the label saw it fit to repress the vinyl edition again, just in time for the one year anniversary (April 20, 2013). Additionally, the label has committed the album to cassette!

    Dopesmoker stands as one of the towering achievements in recent metal history: a mesmerizing, intoxicating, and incredibly complex composition that remains unrivaled in the evolution of stoner metal. Alarm Magazine christened it “a monolith of metal,” MSN echoed the sentiment calling the record, “one of the most influential stoner/doom albums ever recorded,” while Pitchfork crowned Dopesmoker “Best New Reissue” last year noting, “it’s an hour of adventure and momentum, where the lumber and the repetition somehow always push ahead. At a moment when black metal reinventers and D-beat revivers seem to dominate large sections of the heavy music world, maybe the thought of a resin-voiced singer intoning for an hour over riffs that wrap into themselves and drums that aim ever for infinity seems boring. But no matter how many times they had to record or rehearse ‘Dopesmoker’ to master it, or no matter how much pressure London placed on them to make something more commercial than personal, SLEEP sound as if their very existence depends upon the successful exercise of this weed ritual…. This record’s influence on substance, style, and simple ambition within heavy metal has long outlived the band that made it. “

     The Southern Lord version of Dopesmoker features brand new artwork by longtime SLEEP artist, Arik Roper, who created something specifically special for the album’s rebirth. The biggest difference between this new version and the old releases is the phenomenal remastering job by Brad Boatright. His vision was to enhance the original recording without changing it drastically. What he has done makes this epic opus sound invigorated, more powerful with renewed clarity and unbelievably mammoth. His work was enthusiastically approved by the band and considering how focused, vigilant and protective of their masterpiece the band is, that is nothing short of a miracle.

    Southern Lord worked painstakingly close with the band to make sure that this reissue was done correctly. It would have been completely unacceptable to cut corners or do anything that would not give this album the full respect it rightfully deserves. It meant everything to the label that SLEEP was 100% satisfied with the result of all the hard work and in fact has dubbed this thee ultimate version of the album.

    For ordering info, including various package deals, point your browser to THIS LOCATION



    Sleep | Official Website
    Sleep |Facebook
    Southern Lord | Official Website
    Southern Lord | Twitter

    Source: Earsplit PR / Rarely Unable




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    Alright, we tried to avoid posting this just because it is everywhere already but f**k it, how can we not post it. It is Black Sabbath for f**ks sake! To be honest I find this track to be a bit weak but the part that comes in at 6:23 makes it all worthwhile.




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    When strolling through the Riff Garden, I always spend a lot of time at the plot marked Cardinals Folly. Here one can find the tastiest and most succulent riffs of the best Finnish vintage, full of flavorful doom. Very few are the plants that provide riffs the quality of Cardinals Folly and it is a mystery to Ye Olde Doctor why this variety of doom-fruit is not more popular.

    True, true, Cardinals Folly are definitely of the same family of doom that countrymen Reverend Bizarre hail from and they also have many hints of Cathedral and even the venerable Black Sabbath tree...strong roots for a heavy garden indeed! I savor the riffery of "Rasputin The Mad Monk", which moves from lethargic to neck-snapping with brilliance. Another classic flower in the Cardinals Folly plot is "Serpent's Night"...oh, what a colossal and tasty riff this one sports! Pure doom in best tradition of those bands mentioned above and equalling them in every way. But for sheer riff overkill, look no farther than "Blood Axis Raiders", the stand-out fruit on the C.F. vine!




    On "Strange Conflicts of the Past", we sample many buds from Cardinals Folly's past....chewy bits of doom from various rare sessions ofthe band's past that are hard to come by now in their original form. Every one of them has a stand-out moment to induce head-banging but I will say that the last 3 tracks "The Model", "They Found Atlantis" and "Transmissions From the Mad Arab" seem to not quite have the quality what of goes before. Not too say they are bad, but they don't match up to stuff like "The Right Hand of Doom" and the aforementioned "Blood Axis Raiders".

    Be warned, the vocals here are much an acquired taste. Doleful, monk-like muttering of deep and frankly awkward phrasing, not "real" singing as most know it. But it is part and parcel of what makes Cardinals Folly so gloomy and morose. If you can accept this unique Finnish flavor, then "Strange Conflicts of the Past" will prove to be a riff-taster's delight! Reap this harvest of doom...

    Words: Dr. Mality ( Wormwood Chronicles )


    Cardinal's Folly | Facebook
    Shadow Kingdom Records Website

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  • 04/23/13--06:45: Tentacle - Ingot Eye ...
  • Tentacle is a side project of the band members of Ice Dragon. For those who have been living under a rock, Ice Dragon is a Stoner/Doom Metal/ Psychedelic Rock band that has gained a cult following over the past few years because of the bands’ relish for continuous reinvention of self. 

    Ice Dragon believe that the only thing constant is change and so even when they hit the home run with a successful formula on a particular release it doesn’t hinder the bands’ idea of pushing music to the logical extreme on their next release instead of sticking to the same formula, playing it safe and churning out some quality material in the same vein as their precursor.

    This is the reason why no two Ice Dragon releases sound the same and this love for experimentation backed with an aura of open mindedness has attracted many a person into the bands’ fan base in a world where most choose to play it safe and release new stuff that mostly sounds like a re hash of their older stuff.

    That being said, Tentacle was formed in 2012 and they released their debut EP in the same year entitled ‘Void Abyss’. Early this year they released their debut album labelled ‘Ingot Eye’ which lasts around 40 minutes and consist of 4 tracks with lengths varying from 5 minutes to 13 minutes long.  A mere glance at the name of the band, and its artwork promptly communicates to the listener the bands’ obsession with the infamous H.P.Lovecraft.

    The band plays a mixture of lo-fi yet burdensome and onerous mix of doom with elements of drone-y sludge metal with the pivotal aim being to create an atmosphere that is riddled with dirge and bleak hopelessness. As compared to the debut EP this release has a rawer, heavier and more oppressive sound. If the previous EP was a taste of the bands’ exploration into the deepest darkest unknowns this album is a peregrination into the entrails of all that is murky and filthy. The music moves along at a pace that is neither as slow as Pilgrim or Reverend Bizarre but not also as mid paced as Alunah or Subrosa. A good choice, after all it is the slow, heavy plodding riffs that create a foreboding and morose feeling more successfully than up tempo riffs.  The band in a short time seemed to have mastered the concept of building up an atmosphere using heavy riffs, deep cavernous bass lines tortured vocals and repetitive drums that engulf the listener in a hypnotic, trance like and lethargic cocoon.

    The music in itself at times seems to draw out inspiration from Black Sabbath’s first 2 LP’s and at times even classical music. This beast of an album with its horror fuelled imagery and odiously nauseating atmosphere is sprinkled with hints of psychedelia. Even though the music moves along at a similar bruised pace throughout there are enough variations in each tracks that makes sure that the listeners’ attention doesn’t meander elsewhere.  Be it the variation in vocals that range from screamed to at times even clean or the subtle changes in the tempo of the guitar work or the trudging bass lines backed by the use of a single unwavering note against the backdrop of surrounding silence, each such change which has been masterfully placed piles onto the demonic and twisted feel this album permeates throughout its length. The band has this ability to mesh all that is mentioned above to create a singular unit of utmost quality and flows together with impossible liquidity.

    The production deserves special mention here. Remember when Celtic Frost and Hellhammer released their legendary stuff 30-odd years back and it was the most repulsive and heinous stuff one had had the pleasure to listen to? How did the band do that? They used the simple concept of downtuning their guitars and let reverb do the rest. In the simplest of words, that is what the band has done here.  The band admitted that they had to work hard to get the sound they wanted and it has ended up paying dividends. In a day when overproduction reigns supreme and where production has a two dimensional sound – left and right, the band has gone out of the way to get the old school sound came to you from up, down, backward, forward and in the process created a multi dimensional listening experience, a sound which has sadly been long forgotten in the current day and practiced only by a handful of musicians. If you have listened to Head Of The Demon’s 2013 debut album then you know what I am talking about, for they too possess that evil reverb laden old school sound.

    It is good news that Tentacle is not just an experiment by Ice Dragon. They are a serious band which is here to stay. Those familiar with the works of Ice Dragon may at times find some similarities over here but there are enough variations from the core Ice Dragon sound to call Tentacle a different band that carries a harsher, more nefarious look into the minds that are collectively known as Ice Dragon. Get your hands on this album as soon as you can as this is definitely ‘Best Doom Metal Albums Of The Year’ stuff....8.5/10

    Written by : Vaibhav Jain

    Bandcamp - Here
    Facebook - Here

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    In late 2012/early 2013, BLOOD CEREMONY enclosed themselves within a dank, tomb-like chamber to begin preparations for their third album. After a mind-numbing spell in the analogue womb of Toronto's ProGold Studios, the band is now ready to unveil their newest, and most accomplished, musical offering: "The Eldritch Dark". The debut single, "Goodbye Gemini", can be heard now below.

    Recorded and mixed by producer Ian Blurton (CAULDRON, CURSED) and mastered by Canadian recording legend Nick Blagona (DEEP PURPLE, RAINBOW), "The Eldritch Dark" is a full-length paean to the darker corners of folklore and legend. Containing eight tracks of black magic rock 'n' roll, the album crackles with the excitement of a nocturnal ritual.

    Tales of witch-cult gatherings in wooded glens, pacts made in torch-lit abbeys and Victorian magic are accompanied by vintage-style hard rock riffs, snaking bass lines and stirring flute melodies. "The Eldritch Dark" also sees the band exploring a more folksier side of their sound; most evident in the hymn-like "Lord Summerisle" and the murderous folk-rock epic, "Ballad Of The Weird Sisters". Nineteenth-century sorcerer Oliver Haddo makes a return appearance in the riff-hypnotic album closer "The Magician".

    "The Eldritch Dark" will be released via Metal Blade/Rise Above in North America on May 28.

    BLOOD CEREMONY will join KYLESA on tour in North America throughout May and June.

    BLOOD CEREMONY is:

    Alia O'Brien - Vocals, Flute, Organ
    Sean Kennedy - Guitar
    Lucas Gadke - Bass
    Michael Carrillo - Drums


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    "Wizard Of War", the new video from San Francisco-based doom rockers ORCHID, can be seen below. The song comes off the band's new album, "The Mouths Of Madness", which will be released on April 26 via Nuclear Blast RecordsGuitarist Mark Thomas Baker stated about the extensive "The Mouths Of Madness" production process: "Most of the tracks on 'The Mouths Of Madness' were cut in early June 2012. We were pretty fresh off of our European tour and full of confidence. The basics done at that time were the best recording experience that we've had so far. Everybody got along great and did great work.

    "We did this album with a completely different guitar sound than 'Capricorn'. I think it sounds much heavier in that regard. We take a lot of time to get things right. I hope people enjoy it and let it sink in. I think it's miles above our past efforts."

    Mastering engineer Richard Whittaker, who also took care of the latest BLACK SABBATH and THIN LIZZY rereleases/analogue transfers, comments: "I've been a huge fan of ORCHID since I first heard their debut EP back in 2009, and they've certainly come a long way since then. So, as you can imagine, to be asked to work with ORCHID on their records was an honour and a pleasure. They're a great bunch of guys and a stellar band to be involved with.

    "'The Mouths Of Madness' is such a well-crafted and awe-inspiring album. Sonically, its 1974 meets 2013 which, for me, takes the SABBATH/PENTAGRAM vibe to whole new level."

    ORCHID was named "the best and most important doom band of the past five years" by Rock Hard Germany's editor-in-chief Götz Kühnemund. In addition, BEHEMOTH mainman Adam "Nergal" Darski stated: "BLACK SABBATH should do an album like 'The Mouths Of Madness'!"

    Since its inception in 2006, ORCHID — which features in its ranks well-known tattoo artist Theo Mindell on vocals — has achieved massive global awareness with their stunning releases "Through The Devil's Doorway" (EP, 2009) and "Capricorn" (full-length, 2011).

    ORCHID is:

    Theo Mindell: Vocals
    Carter Kennedy: Drums
    Mark Thomas Baker: Guitar
    Keith Nickel: Bass


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    After months of searching and reviewing literally hundreds of applicants from around the world, legendary doomsters PENTAGRAM have announced the addition of guitarist Matt Goldborough to the group's ranks.

    Matt is a Philadelphia-based musician, composer and riff aficionado. Versed in many genres of music, Matt's experience outside of the heavy metal world brings a fresh yet classic approach to this genre-defining band. His style hearkens back to the very origins of "heavy metal" itself when heavy blues and psychedelic rock guitarists pioneered the genre in an attempt to harden rock and roll. This, of course, is exactly what Bobby Liebling and the original PENTAGRAM lineup did back in 1971.

    Having played in a bevy of bands on the East Coast, Goldsborough is most recently known as part of the acclaimed Philadelphia rock band THE GREAT UNKNOWN. His debut with the PENTAGRAM family, rounded out by Greg Turley on bass and Sean Saley on drums, was on April 16, 2013 at the sold-out show at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, New York. If that gig wasn't special enough, the band performed songs not heard live in over 40 years! Inspired by a demand from the fans, Liebling and company pulled out rare gems, including "Be Forewarned".

    PENTAGRAM released the first DVD of its 40-year career, "When The Screams Come", in August 2011 via Metal Blade Records. The set featured a full PENTAGRAM show, recorded on May 30, 2010 at the tail end of the Liebling/Griffin reunion dates at Sonar in Baltimore, Maryland during Maryland Deathfest VIII. There is also exclusive interview footage with Bobby Liebling.

    PENTAGRAM's latest album, "Last Rites", came out in 2011 via Metal Blade.

    PENTAGRAM's 2012 European tour saw the band perform its Decibel magazine "Hall Of Fame" album, "Relentless", in its entirety for the first time since the early 1980s. PENTAGRAM also played other beloved songs spanning the group's career, including tracks from "Last Rites".

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    “Definition of rock journalism: People who can't write, doing interviews with people who can't think, in order to prepare articles for people who can't read.” - Frank Zappa, The Real Frank Zappa Book.

    What can you say about 6 million page views? When this site was started, Ed would have been happy with 1,000 page views. The site has been around for a few years now and has generated over 250 interviews and too many reviews to count. It has had a few ups and downs but page views have been consistently good now for over 2 years. The downside to this story is the tragic way Ed's life has gone and I can't speak for everyone at Doommantia but that is still our main focus. Music is important but lives and people makes everything else seem pointless.

    There is a new Doommantia compilation in the works (contact us if you are interested) and there is still talk of a Doommantia radio show. Some things never worked out, we wanted shirts but zero cash flow put a end to that but it still may happen one day. We have a new admin in Tony "Doctor Doom" Cooper who is helping out, making sure reviews get published ASAP and the site is generally well-maintained and we thank Tony for coming to the rescue at just the right time. Thanks to anyone that has put Doommantia on a promo sheet or has helped by spreading the word on the site.

    So thanks to all our readers and extra thanks to all the writers that have kept this site so active for so long. People like Aleks and Mari are the core of this site and the incredible amount of work you guys have put forward is invaluable. Most important is support the bands and buy something, go to a show, do whatever you can to help support and promote all these amazing bands we have been blessed with in the doom metal scene.

    Keep on reading but think of those less fortunate than yourself and donate whenever possible......S

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    Norwegian psychedelic quartet SAHG, which specializes in doom-infused '70s rock, will release a brand new album in October via Indie Recordings. The CD's first single, "Firechild", is available for streaming in the YouTube clip below.

    SAHG's new CD was recorded at Duper studio in Bergen, Norway.

    SAHG's third album, "Sahg III", came out on August 30, 2010 through Indie.

    SAHG is:

    Olav Iversen - Vocals/Guitar
    Tony Vetaas - Bass
    Thomas Tofthagen - Guitar
    Thomas Lønnheim - Drums


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    Experimental, dark ambient/noise trio LOCRIAN will release its new album, "Return To Annihilation", on June 25 via Relapse Records. The CD was recorded by Greg Norman (PELICAN, RUSSIAN, CIRCLES, SERENA MANEESH) at Steve Albini's Electrical Audio Studios in Chicago and was mastered by Jason Ward at Chicago Mastering Service.

    A two-part concept album inspired by LOCRIAN's love for prog-rock progenitors GENESIS, YES and KING CRIMSON, "Return To Annihilation" is sure to be the group's most ambitious recordings to date.

    LOCRIAN lyricist/multi-instrumentalist Terrence Hannum comments on the album's concept: "I think for the album concept we were inspired by GENESIS' 'Lamb Lies Down On Broadway' and how it is a surreal narrative telling a story. We sought to make our own but we wanted to give our nod to the prog bands that inspired us; KING CRIMSON or YES with the multi-part songs. So we had looked at the novel 'Dhalgren' by sci-fi writer Samuel Delaney as a big influence too. How it is a circular narrative, ours is more of a mirror of itself, one that changes and shifts. It also borrows extensively from Walter Benjamin's 'Arcades Project'.

    "Our story is about a cataclysm that changes the world and all manner of perception in two parts. I would say the real and the perceived. And it is all told to you through a narrator, one who you cannot tell if he is asleep or dreaming or sleepwalking through this shifting landscape. Part 1 begins at the end of a song whose lyrics discuss a dawn in which all of our monuments dissolved, the next track the wrath of heaven (a massive cataclysm) visits earth, then two moons appear in the sky (perhaps the most direct reference to Delaney's novel but also an homage to Nick Drake). It ends with the first multi-part track 'Return to Annihilation', a more metaphysical description of the changes apparent in the world. One in which minerals work against man, there is only evolution. We also gain insight into that what we've been told may be unreliable as the narrator admits to 'noctambulism' (sleepwalking). But it is intentionally unclear if this is his state or the state of everyone. Part 2 is a view back through this mirror or lens of Part 1. We exit the hall or vapor and light and enter a panorama of mirror, the entire world as reflection. It ends with a four-part piece about worshiping equilibrium in a world where it has been extinct (isostasy), discussing the qualities of the air that is now poisoned, witnessing the burial of urns (hydriotaphia) and finally awaking to awareness.

    "One of the things we wanted to accomplish was a sense of texture with mirrors, prisms, lenses, etc. being referenced in the sounds and tone. I think it does."

    Formed in late 2005, LOCRIAN consists of André Foisy (electric and acoustic guitars, arp avatar, electronics), Terence Hannum (vocals, synthesizers, piano, organ, mellotron and tapes) and Steven Hess (drums, electronics). The group, located in Chicago, Illinois and Baltimore, Maryland, has released over 20 recordings on an eclectic array of labels in their relatively short but prolific career, including a recent split with labelmates HORSEBACK.

    "Return To Annihilation" track listing:

    A:
    Part I

    01. Eternal Return
    02. A Visitation From The Wrath Of Heaven
    03. Two Moons
    04. Return To Annihilation
    a. Into One Light
    b. Anathemata
    c. All Mineral in Upheaval

    B:
    Part II

    05. Exiting The Hall Of Vapor And Light
    06. Panorama Of Mirror
    07. Obsolete Elegies
    a. Isostasy
    b. Digression of Air
    c. Hydriotaphia
    d. In Felsic Splendor

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    Welcome Tim Ziegeler and Michael Maas! They’re founders of new promising doom-act A Sickness Unto Death and ready to spread „Despair“, their fresh full-length, amongst Doom-worshipers all over the world. Their stuff is another proof of German Doom Industry’s good and clean working so keep on wheels turning! Don’t miss this release and check our interview with Tim and Michael.

    Hail mates! I see that you’re closing to release date of first A Sickness Unto Death album titled “Despair”. What do you feel holding that release in your hands?

    Tim: It is awesome. For us the album was already finished some months ago and so you can image that we are couldn’t wait for it to be released at last! .

    Michael: Yup!

    I see that A Sickness Unto Death was born in 2012, both of you were playing in different projects and bands before that. What did drive you to collaboration and creating of qualitative doom metal music?

    Tim: After the split-up of my former band I was searching for musicians to create something new. Finally it was a mutual friend who kind of connected Michael and me. Michael just moved into the area where I live. We shared some of our former songs and than had a jam session. The outcome was the raw idea of „RAIN OF SHARDS“, which was the first song we wrote together.

    Michael: Yes, I moved back to Germany from the states and wanted to start something new, a band or some project. I wanted to do something that was dark and slow. Though, I never really thought that it was possible to find someone who likes doom enough to start a band...

     Hah, but it seems that you’ve appeared right in time – doom metal is on it’s peak still, though it’s hard to say how long it will continue. By the way, Germany is one of countries with most advanced “doom-industry”… Don’t you feel yourself straight into mainstream?

    Tim: I would feel like Mainstream if „Despair“ would hit the Top 20 after the release. To be serious: Of course Germany has a lot to offer for Doom metal fans if you consider the doom metal festivals and the big metal labels from Germany which promote their bands. But it seems like northern Germany is a real doom diaspora. Like Michael said it is even hard to find other musicians that are willing and able to join us in the music we play.

    Michael: Plus, catering to any specific audience is nowhere in my thought process.

    Tim you did play black and death metal before A Sickness Unto Death, does this experience help you to work in doom-direction? What are differences between conceptions of your previous bands and this one?

    Tim: I always loved combining different types of music. I think that other styles can bring a lot of inspiration. The main difference between my former bands and A SICKNESS UNTO DEATH is the large amount of clean vocals. Doom offers great opportunities for singers because you can work with harmony lines or emphasize certain parts. The slow tempo gives more space for creativity and excitement and the vocalist is much more recognized than in black metal. I also met a lot of people that told me my timbre fits best for Doom. Maybe they’re right?

    Michael: My former bands’ music was more like the smallest common denominator of the musical tastes of the band members. So we played heavy rock with some slow and dark moments. A Sickness Unto Death carries much less compromise for me, the only compromise being what I can write and record.

     Yes, Tim, they were certainly right! Didn’t you sing with clean voice before?

    Tim: My former projects usually had clean vocals in the chorus but I focused on growling. Also clean vocals in Death Metal are very different from doom metal. Doom metal demands more variation than a catchy kick-ass chorus and also fits a more settled voice like mine.

    And, Michael, you’ve said that you did play slow and dark heavy rock with your past band, why didn’t you turn to stoner doom rock for example? What kind of modern doom and metal tendencies do you like and which ones do not?

    Michael: Stoner Rock is just not one of my big influences. But of course the line is quite blurry between the different genres. And I don’t listen to any newer doom bands besides maybe Swallow the Sun. I am kind of stuck in the 90ties with Type-O, Tiamat or with much older music like the Cure or even Pink Floyd. What inspires me about recent music is more production techniques and guitar tones than musical inspiration. We have great tools at hand that potentially can be used to create great music (or make it utterly boring and uninspiring as is saldy quite often the case...).

    Michael, you’re responsible for composing and playing all instruments onto “Despair” album, how did you work in studio together with Tim? Did you totally agree with all his ideas or do you have a space to argue some tunes sharing responsibility for final version of instrumental parts?

    Michael: Usually I started with a scetch of a song that I sent to Tim for input. Basically the main riffs with drums and bass. While Tim recorded his vocals at my studio, I added layers upon layers of more guitars, mixed and arranged and regularly sent the different versions of the songs to Tim for his input. Tim also added most of the voice samples and effect montages. This kind of feedback loop created a very constructive collaboration that above all helped me to focus and finish stuff.

    Those songs which you have shared via official site of A Sickness Unto Death sound professional, they have a solid and interesting composition, they’re really deserving of attention. How much of your own in these songs? Was it difficult to record this stuff or did it came out pretty easy?

    Michael: Thanks! The difficulties of recording strongly depended on the songs. For recording the guitars I really had to  crank my amp! Since my studio is basically a “home studio” I had to synchonize recording the rhythm tracks with my wife and kids being away ;-) Recording and editing the vocals took about as long as recording all the other instruments combined. But since the vocals are the most important instrument, the extra effort is always worth it.

    Tim: For the lyrics: It depends on the song. There are lyrics that came out very easy while other songs took me a while to write. “Rain of Shards” for example is quite personal to me. Those songs deserve a lot of reflection before I record them.

    Well, we can find “Flames Leap High”, “Rain of Shards”, “Goddess In Dust” and “Ghost Light Dawn” straight into your site, how many songs did you prepare for the album? And does the rest differ from those which you already shared?

    Michael: We recorded eight full songs plus one silly fragment at the beginning of the disc. One of the full songs is an instrumental, one is a ballad that is only voice and one clean guitar. BTW, we are streaming one song per day leading up to the release on May 3rd.

    A Sickness Unto Death - Flames Leap High




     Your songs have a good “modern” doom-touch, didn’t you want to add there more dark and raw atmosphere from earlier days of doom or from 90s?

    Michael: As I said above I like modern production techniques, best coupled with the kind of creativity of earlier bands. I personally don’t get the “raw” thing. To me, sitting in front of my computer for hours doing recording, editing, mixing and mastering, “raw” sounds just sound like they should have been worked at harder... Though I totally dig the “thrown-against-the-wall” sound of Type-Os recordings. It’s high art and very creative to master recording techniques and then mutilate the sounds to get something new that adds to the expressiveness of the music.

    Tim: I love those early bands like Candlemass, Trouble or Veni Domine. That were the bands that introduced me to doom metal. Unfortunately, it seems like the doom scene nowadays is a bit split into 80ies/Epic-Metal fans and those who listen to “modern” bands that prefer growls more than high pitched clean vocals. I don’t feel wrong with mediating a bit. But to calm you down: We are already heading for the next album and the chorus line of the first song we wrote sounded VERY classic to me!

    By the way “Despair” has great art-work, who is it’s author? And how long did you think before accepting it?

    Tim: Both us as agreed very early on white as the basic color and I think the idea of “birds” also came very early. I searched for different images or figures of birds and then we decided for a flock of birds. Then I composed the artwork of die digipak and the booklet. The images in the booklet are ment to emphasize the story of each song. For me, a physical CD is a work of art that seems more and more depreciated because of the rampant popularity of digital music. So this artwork is also a reward fot those who still buy physical CDs!

    Michael: White is the new black!

     You named Saviour Machine, Paradise Lost, Type 0 Negative, Katatonia, Anathema, Opeth, Amorphis and The Cure as your favorite artists. Can you say how did they influence onto your band’s sound? Can we get some of them in your songs?

    Michael: I kind of rediscoverd Type-O-Negative after Peter’s death. His death really struck me and was one of the reasons I wanted to do dark and slow music. Paradise Lost is a constant in my playlist – after all, they are still releasing amazing albums! Saviour Machine is a guilty pleasure of both Tim and me. Amazingly, I just discovered Anathema when they released the “Weather Systems” album, so I guess they will be a bigger influence on the next record. I grew up on Metallica and Megadeth in my early teens when I started learning the guitar, I think you can still hear it in my playing...

    Can you name most significant web-zines which help bands more effective and which have stuff enough interesting to read?

    Tim: What was the name of your magazine again? Haha! I personally like magazines where editors take time for their reviews and interviews, even if the band is not that popular. For young bands it is hard enough to be heared. So we are thankful for you supporting us!

    Oh, I should remember that we’re doing this interview for „Men’s Health“, how did you forget comrade? And in that case can you give some advice for our readers how to keep a good physical form or where to buy cool belongings?

    Tim: Haha sorry you’re a bit late with this! I just sold my exclusive story to FHM! ;-)

    Then just say few more words for readers of doommantia.com for it was my last question for today. Guys, thanks for your time! I would like to congratulate you with release of „Despair“ and I hope that it’s only a beggining for A Sickness Unto Death. Good luck!

    Tim: Thank you Aleks and doomantia for supporting us and thank you, the reader, for letting us waste your precious time!

    Michael: Yes, thanks for the support, it’s much appreciated!

    Interview by Aleks

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